Brescia faculty take strides towards closing the gender wage gap

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LONDON – An agreement ratified on October 12 at Brescia University College represents great strides by Canada’s only women’s university towards closing the gender wage gap for professors in Ontario. The deal reached between the Brescia Faculty Association and Brescia University College will bring pay for professors at Brescia – the majority of whom are women – roughly in line with London’s other university colleges.

Right now, the average salary of full-time faculty at Brescia is the second lowest in the province (21st out of 22 universities in Ontario). This figure is particularly troubling given that the faculty complement is 72 per cent women – the highest proportion of women academics of any university in Canada.

“Brescia had a unique opportunity to take leadership, live up to its mission of educating women and support pay equity for women in Ontario,” said Melissa Jean, President of the Brescia Faculty Association. “With incredible support from the community, we have achieved historic gains. The next generation of faculty hired at Brescia will not have to look to their colleagues up the road at Huron University College and ask why they are not being valued equally.”

After receiving over 550 letters of support in just one week urging the Brescia Principal and Board Chair to take steps to pay its professors a fair and equal salary, the Brescia Faculty Association was able to negotiate a collective agreement that secures workloads and salaries that are comparable to those of its peer institutions.

“There is still more work to be done to ensure fairness for our majority female faculty, but we are proud of what we have achieved,” said Jean. “We set out to close the gender wage gap with the other university colleges in London and we have accomplished that goal.”

The deal was ratified by members of the Brescia Faculty Association on October 4, 2016 and by the Brescia Board of Trustees on October 12, 2016.

This momentous step forward for Brescia faculty comes just months after a government-appointed Steering Committee released a report acknowledging it is unacceptable that the gender wage gap still exists in Ontario and recommending steps forward for the provincial government.

“The faculty at Brescia must be congratulated for the contribution they have made to provincial efforts to ensure equal pay for women,” said Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations (OCUFA) President Judy Bates. “University professors and academic librarians have been leaders on this issue for many years and we will continue this work until the gender pay gap is closed.”

Founded in 1999, the Brescia Faculty Association (BFA) is a certified union representing all 36 of Brescia’s full-time professors. For more information, please visit www.bresciafacultyassociation.ca.

Founded in 1964, OCUFA represents 17,000 faculty and academic librarians in 28 faculty associations across Ontario. For more information, please visit the OCUFA website at www.ocufa.on.ca.

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For more information, contact Brescia Faculty Association President Melissa Jean at 519 432 8353 x28070 or , or OCUFA Executive Director Mark Rosenfeld at 416 270 6859 (mobile) or

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