TORONTO, ON – Supporters of the #IStandWithGilary campaign will rally this Mother’s Day to express outrage at the Ryerson Students’ Union’s illegal firing of a Toronto mother on maternity leave.
Gilary Massa was fired from the Ryerson Students’ Union (RSU) December 1, 2015 — three months into her maternity leave. Ms. Massa was the former Executive Director of Communications and Outreach, and worked for the organization for seven years. This move by the RSU throws the reputation of the Ryerson University community as a leader on equity and diversity into question.
The #IStandWithGilary campaign was launched by concerned community members shortly after Massa filed a human rights case against her employer in early March. “No employer should have the right to fire someone on maternity leave,” said Denise Martins, an organizer with the #IStandWithGilary campaign. “We have come together as workers, parents, and students to defend a woman’s right to have a career and a family, and to let this bad boss know that their actions will not go unchecked.”
In at least 178 countries around the world, maternity leave is guaranteed for working mothers. Canada is one of them. “It is sad that in 2016 Canadian women should have to fight for the right to care for their newborn child,” says Saron Gebresellassi, Massa’s legal counsel. “Mother’s Day is an opportunity to educate Ryerson students, who are the employers and workers of tomorrow, about the importance of maternity leave in building strong and healthy families in Ontario.”
WHAT: Mother’s Day Rally in defence of maternity leave
WHERE: Yonge-Dundas Square, marching to Ryerson University
WHO: Saron Gebresellassi, Massa’s legal counsel; Candace Rennick, Secretary-Treasurer of CUPE Ontario; and campaign spokespeople will be available for comment.
WHEN: May 8th, 2016
TIME: 12:00 Noon
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