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The NB 2011-2012 budget must include pay equity!

The NB 2011-2012 budget must include pay equity!

  • NB's economic decisions should be driven by our social values, such as fairness and equality. 
  • Pay equity is a cornerstone of economic equality between women and men. It is equal pay for work of equal value. It means making sure that the value of jobs traditionally or predominantly held by women is recognized and paid equitably.
  • Right now, workers in child care centers, home support agencies, group homes and transition houses are waiting for the results of pay equity programs, some of which began years ago. Many are working close to the minimum wage and have not seen wage increases in the past few years. They are taking care of the most vulnerable citizens of this province and deserve action.
  • Pay Equity adjustments were promised to them this year but have not been done yet. Will the government begin these adjustments for each group this year and complete them within their present mandate?
  • In its election platform, the government made a commitment to “regular increases in wages and benefits for senior care workers every year for the next four years, as well as increases in funding for home care agencies, special care homes, and nursing homes to help them meet rising costs.”
  • Nursing home workers have begun receiving pay equity payments.
  • However, as mentioned earlier, home care workers have not received any of their pay equity payments.
  • Special care home workers don’t participate in a pay equity program yet. We urge the government to ensure that money channelled to the special care homes will be linked to the results of a pay equity program and that such a pay equity is completed during the new fiscal year, so that the wages of these workers will reflect the value of their work.
  • Better wages for all these workers will mean more spending to meet their families’ needs. It will increase their contribution to the province’s tax base. It will mean more fairness and equality in New Brunswick.
  • Pay equity legislation is in place in the public sector, but the government must fund sufficiently the Pay Equity Bureau so that the job evaluations required in the public sector by the Pay Equity Act 2009 will be done following pay equity principles and completed by the end of fiscal year 2011-2012.
  • Where should the money come from? Reverse the changes toward two flat tax rates for individuals and the tax reductions for businesses from 12% in 2008 to 8% in 2012. A study showed that this new scheme, along with higher sales taxes, would increase the tax burden of women instead of reducing it, because a flat tax rate would mostly reduce the income tax paid by the highest income earners – where there are fewer women.
  • Finally, we need legislation for the private sector as soon as possible. It is an investment in equality, in our human resources and in our economy.

 

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