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

Lake Country’s Citizen of the Year never expected to win award

“I was totally blown away, I had no idea,” Robert Conelley said.

Housing proposed on popular Kelowna golf course land

Kelowna council may implement changes at the Quail golf course

Kelowna mom concerned with needles found at Knox Mountain Park

Maria Beinarowitz, who has a five-year-old son, said she’s noticed a fair amount at the Kelowna park

UBC Okanagan Heat athletes nominated for awards

28th Annual Athletic Awards Celebration will recognize the star athletes

Updated: Scene cleared after accident near Ellison Lake

An accident near Ellison Lake near Kelowna and Lake Country is causing traffic delays

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Bat signal lights up Vancouver sky for ‘Batwoman’ TV series

The art gallery has been transformed into XX of Gotham City

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Okanagan dancers kick up heels for spring

PHOTOS: Spring Fling sees more than 60 converge in Vernon from as far as Okanagan Falls and Salmon Arm

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

Prescribed burns to start this month in the Okanagan

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band with partners are starting a multi-year burn on Crater Mountain

New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. to service Shuswap, North and South Okanagan

Lack of bus service leaving residents stranded

Ministry’s Health Connections solution visits Salmon Arm just twice per week, once west, once south

Most Read