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Break the fast for pay equity

On Wednesday, August 18th, the NB Coalition for Pay Equity's Saint John regional committee held an educational breakfast event for candidates from all 5 political parties (plus 1 independent), individual and group members of the Coalition in the Saint John region, and interested members of the community. Over 40 people (including 15 political candidates) attended a home-made breakfast.
 
Following a short presentation on pay equity, each table was given a situational question to discuss and report back to the room – an exercise that produced animated discussion.  Participants raised several key issues, including the benefits of a pay equity law in the private sector and suggestions for involving business during consultation as well as implementation stages.
 
Finally, facilitator Gail Taylor invited representatives from each party to state their party’s position on pay equity legislation in the private sector and commit to making it part of their election platform. The NDP pointed to their pro-pay equity position on record and indicated clear support for extending legislation to the private sector. The Green Party and the People’s Alliance of NB reps both stated that pay equity would be on their election platforms; and the Progressive-Conservatives reiterated that pay equity is a human rights issue, adding they would like to see public consultation that would involve business – something the Green Party rep endorsed.  Minister Mary Schryer reviewed her government’s record in getting the legislation passed for the public sector, indicating their intention to continue working with the private sector toward pay equity.  She said she felt encouraged by the ideas that emerged in the wide-ranging discussion. However, neither the Progressive-Conservative party nor the Liberals committed to a pay equity law for the private sector.
 
Several media were present. You can consult a Global Maritimes news excerpt featuring the Saint John breakfast (under the title of "Equity Breakfast").
 
(With help from Gail Taylor / Chair, Saint John reginal committee)

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