About 5,000 current and former mostly female Bell Canada telephone operators have voted to accept a $104 million pay equity settlement.
A vast majority — 95 per cent — voted to accept the deal, ending the long-running dispute which began 14 years ago. The operators, members of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP), voted over the last month in 25 separate meetings across Ontario and Quebec.
"This result brings an end to one of the longest battles for pay equity
in the private sector,” said CEP president Brian Payne. "This victory by telephone workers is a victory of the Canadian labour movement."
According to the union, the settlement provides compensation in three specific categories:
•payment for pain and suffering (tax exempt); and
•adjustments to pensions.
An operator currently working at Bell Canada and who worked the full period covered by the settlement (1993 to 1999) will receive:
•$16,500 in settlement payment;
•$6,000 in pain and suffering (tax exempt); and
•a maximum of additional pensionable earnings of $13,530.
The minimum payment will be $1,000 to those employed for less than one year but more than six months, the union said.
Marathon pay equity battle over
Bell Canada settles with female operators in $104-million deal
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