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

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria Whisky Festival kicks off this weekend

Whisky-lovers flock to Hotel Grand Pacific for weekend events and tastings

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

25 drivers in Victoria pulled for drug impairment since cannabis legalized

Little change seen in number of impaired drivers since new laws enacted

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Social media strains over Prince Rupert’s boil water notice

Resident forms Community for Clean Water, and Jennifer Rice responds to acting mayor’s comments

Dog dies saving B.C. family from burning home

Homeowners safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Investigators await forensics in fatal Mill Bay police shooting

Independent investigation continues after Chris Bloomfield killed in Mill Bay in November

Russian fighter jets collide over Sea of Japan crews eject

One plane crashed after its crew ejected safely, the other crew also ejected but they have not been found

Most Read