“It’s not often I see such blatant disregard for the law and such a deliberate undervaluing of both care work and women’s work.” — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
Tilsonburg (07 Feb. 2017) — The union representing workers at Community Living Tillsonburg (CLT) is threatening legal action over the agency’s refusal to make pay equity payments as required by law.
Workers are owed $784,632.23 plus interest but employer refuses to pay
CLT currently owes 232 workers a total of $784,632.23 plus interest. While the amount owed each individual depends on how long they worked at CLT, a number of long-time employees are owed almost $9,000 each. CLT had been required to make the payments no later than January 14, 2016.
In a letter yesterday, counsel for the Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE) said the union will take CLT to court unless it pays up by February 15.
“OPSEU/NUPGE will not accept Community Living Tillsonburg’s continued and significant delay to comply with the Pay Equity Act,” the letter said.
The Act, which became law in 1988, requires Ontario employers to identify instances of gender-based wage discrimination and make payments to eliminate it.
Pay equity isn't optional
In the case of CLT, OPSEU/NUPGE and CLT had agreed to a 60-day payment schedule at a Pay Equity Hearings Tribunal pre-hearing meeting in April 2016. The employer failed to make any payments and then informed the union in January 2017 that it would not be doing so.
“It’s not often I see such blatant disregard for the law and such a deliberate undervaluing of both care work and women’s work,” said OPSEU President Warren (Smokey) Thomas. “It’s time CLT — and all non-compliant employers — realized that pay equity isn’t optional.
“This is about acknowledging women’s fundamental human right to equal pay for work of equal value. We need to stop treating women like discount labour," said Thomas.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 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