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CAUT Bulletin Archives

March 2002

Donations Sought for Legal Fund

CAUT is asking local faculty associations and members to support a historic human rights case for female academics. The case involves a group of retired female professors from the University of Toronto, including such highly renowned academics as Phyllis Grosskurth and Ursula Franklin, who launched an action against the university for monetary damages caused by systemic sex discrimination in pension benefits.

They allege the university saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by maintaining lower pay for those women throughout their careers and into retirement. The women, who were performing the same or similar work as that of their male counterparts during their careers as faculty members, are now receiving yearly pension benefits as low as $20,000, significantly lower than their male colleagues of similar status and years of service.

"Although the case arises from the U of T context, it will set a precedent for faculty across Canada," said CAUT president Tom Booth.

"Given the income of these retired faculty members, the litigation is not something they can financially support," Booth said. "CAUT urges our local associations and individual affiliated members to support the historic efforts of these four retired faculty members by sending a donation to their legal fund."

Donations should be sent to legal counsel Mary Eberts of the law firm Eberts, Symes Street & Corbett, 133 Lowther Avenue, Toronto, ON M5R 1E4. Cheques should be made payable to "Law Office of Mary Eberts, in trust."