New federal Pay Equity Act is a step in the right direction | National Union of Public and General Employees

New federal Pay Equity Act is a step in the right direction

“This is a good first step. Unfortunately, many women are still going to have to wait years before they see some justice in their wages.” — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer

Ottawa (31 Oct. 2018) – The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) sees the new Pay Equity Act proposed in the federal government’s Budget Implementation Act as a step forward to addressing the gender wage gap in the federal sector. 

The act will require federally-regulated employers, covering approximately 1.2 million workers, to create a pay equity plan within 3 years of it coming into force. 

“This is a good first step. Unfortunately, many women are still going to have to wait years before they see some justice in their wages,” said Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the 390,000-member NUPGE. "We also know that there are still provinces that have a long way to go to achieve gender pay equality." 

Omnibus bill 

The federal Budget Implementation Act not only includes plans for pay equity but provides for paid domestic violence leave, some protections for workers during contract retendering, and improvements to federal labour standards.

“We are concerned that the pay equity legislation is contained in an omnibus bill. Being part of a larger bill limits how much discussion can be held,” said Ballermann. 

“The campaign to win federal pay equity has been decades in the offing. We hope that the government will allow the necessary time for a fullsome discussion. An extra couple of days to get it right would not be inappropriate.”

Long-awaited legislation

The new Pay Equity Act requires federally-regulated employers to create and implement pay equity plans to address the gender wage gap. The creation of a Pay Equity Commissioner to oversee implementation and hold employers accountable was also announced.

The legislation is to apply to all federally-regulated employers with 10 or more workers and obliges employers to establish a pay equity plan within 3 years of it coming into force.

Federally-regulated employers will also have to engage in a process of comparing similar jobs that are dominated by men and women respectively.


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE