Earlier this year a GSU member contacted general secretary Hugh Wagner with regard to the rate of pay she was receiving. Wagner checked into the matter and discovered that the member was being paid significantly less than most of her co-workers in the same job classification despite being senior to many.

The matter was raised with the employer and for a couple of months the parties argued back and forth. Eventually the member received a significant adjustment in her rate of pay.

“Not every pay dispute is resolved in favour of union members, particularly since some employers have substantial discretionary power in relation to setting employees’ rates of pay within a pay range,” said general secretary Hugh Wagner. “In this case we were able to establish a solid argument based on the facts of the situation and the active involvement of the affected union member.”

“Successfully resolving many employment issues for union members comes down to fact gathering and critically measuring employers’ behavior against reasonable standards,” said Wagner. “Things won’t change unless we make arguments in favour of change and are willing to get involved in the struggle. This needs to happen at the individual level, as in this case, and especially at the collective level when we go into agreement renewal bargaining.”

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