Union leaders say proposed pay equity legislation will close ‘shameful’ gap

Jobs that might be under close scrutiny because they are dominated by women include clerical and administrative jobs, marketing, sales and services

PIPSC President Debi Daviau looks on as PSAC President Chris Aylward speaks about the Phoenix pay system during a news conference about pay equity in Ottawa, Wednesday October 31, 2018. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

The new pay-equity law the federal Liberals are proposing should close Canada’s “shameful” gender gap and private-sector employers should follow the government’s example, leaders of some of Canada’s biggest unions say.

Public Service Alliance of Canada president Chris Aylward says the legislation introduced earlier this week has been a long time coming: his organization first filed pay-equity complaints against the federal government in the 1970s.

“This new legislation, which creates an obligation for employers to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination, means 30-year legal battles to resolve pay-equity complaints will become a thing of the past,” said Aylward at a press conference Wednesday on Parliament Hill.

Under the proposed law, employers under federal jurisdiction would need to examine their compensation practices and ensure women and men receive equal pay for work of equal value.

Employers would be required to identify job classes, evaluate the work in each, and compare what they pay with what workers get in jobs dominated by men or by women.

READ MORE: ‘Daddy bonus’ common in B.C. workplaces, study finds

The rules would apply to all federally regulated employers with 10 or more workers, which includes the federal public service, parliamentary workplaces, and the offices of the prime minister and other ministers. It also includes employers in parts of the private sector such as banks, marine shipping, ferry and port services and telecommunications. In all, about 900,000 Canadian workers will be covered.

Jobs that might be under close scrutiny because they are dominated by women include clerical and administrative jobs, marketing, sales and services. Also bank tellers, financial-sales representatives and accounting clerks.

It’s up to employers to determine whether a position has been undervalued and if the workers are due for pay adjustments.

Debi Daviau, the president of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada, said her organization is confident the government, as an employer, “will show the way to all the private ones.”

Discrimination against women in the workforce still happens more often than is usually acknowledged, said Hassan Yussuff of the Canadian Labour Congress.

He said until employers have pay-equity plans in place, they can’t say they have ended discrimination in the workplace.

Johanne Perron of the Pay Equity Coalition said having federal legislation in place sends a strong message.

“It’s time for all provinces to have pay-equity legislation for both the public and private sectors.”

Janice Dickson, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Northwest mobile unit to help those at heart of mental health, addiction crisis

Province, Northern Health unveils new unit in Terrace to bridge gaps in services

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Coastal GasLink violates terms of permit

Tree clearing took place outside Kitimat

Doctor recruiting drive showing results

Crisis point has now passed

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Most Read