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Pay Equity in the Public Sector: THE COALITION WANTS ANSWERS FROM THE PAY EQUITY BUREAU

2013-04-25

Press release. - The Pay Equity Act 2009, which came into force in 2010, provided for a two-year period during which public sector jobs were to be evaluated and compared. Pay equity adjustments were to commence in April 2012.

The reality of the situation is entirely different. As of now, the process of evaluating and comparing female-dominated and male-dominated jobs has largely not been completed.

Given the serious delays in the execution of the Pay Equity Act 2009, the NB Coalition for Pay Equity wants answers from the Pay Equity Bureau.

"The public, but more importantly, the women who work in female-dominated jobs in the public sector have the right to information as to the implementation of this legislation. The issue is one of transparency," said the Chair of the Coalition, Vallie Stearns. "Until now, very little information has been made public on the process but one thing is clear, there are major delays. The time has come for the Pay Equity Bureau to provide a progress report."

The Coalition has presented a series of questions (appendix 1) to the Pay Equity Bureau and to the Minister Responsible for Women's Issues to whom the Bureau reports. "Pay equity adjustments were supposed to be made one year ago. What's going on?" wants to know the Coalition's Chair.

The Coalition also wants to know how the legislation is implemented:

o       Which female-dominated jobs have been evaluated?

o       Which male-dominated jobs have been evaluated?

o       Which jobs have yet to be evaluated?

o       What is the methodology being used?

o       What are the results of the process to date?

o       What is being done to protect the rights of non-unionized workers?

"Without information, it is impossible to make sure that the process being followed will lead to pay equity," said Vallie Stearns.

Pay equity is described as equal pay for work of equal or comparable value.

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INFORMATION REQUESTED ON THE APPLICATION OF

PAY EQUITY ACT, 2009

 

1. We request a report on the application of the Act for each group:

o        unionized workers;

o        non unionized workers; and

o        Crown Corporations’ workers.

2. The report for each group should include information on the process and results:

a) About the jobs:

o        Which predominantly-female jobs & job classifications were evaluated?

o        Were all predominantly-male job classifications and jobs evaluated? If not, which ones, who chose them, and which criteria were used?

o        Is there a list of predominantly-female jobs that were not eligible under the Act because of the 10-incombent rule? Which jobs?

b) About the job descriptions as well as the evaluation and comparison systems:

o        Who developed the questionnaires used for job descriptions?

o        What job evaluation system was used? Who selected it? Did it meet the gender-neutral criteria? Was it the same for all the jobs?

o        Who determined the weight of the factors and sub-factors?

o        What comparison methodology was used? (job to line, line to line, job to job)? Was it the same for all the jobs?

o        If using the job to line or line to line methodology, what was the margin of error for the regression line(s)?

c) About the process:

o        Was there a mechanism or structure to ensure employee participation in the process of job evaluation, comparison and analysis? What was it and how did it operate?

o        Were the pay equity exercises “conducted in negotiations separate and apart from the negotiations conducted for the purpose of concluding a collective agreement” (art. 12.2)?

o        Did the Pay Equity Bureau or the employer prepare and distribute educational material to employees? What?

o        Was training offered? By whom? About what? When?

o        What kind of information, assistance and advice did the Bureau provide to employers, employees and bargaining agents in implementing pay equity?

o        Did the employer keep and is it keeping the employees informed about the process? How?

o        How did the Bureau review the process and provide assistance to employers who have completed or who are in the process of completing implementation of pay equity?

d) About the results:

o        What were the results? In terms of dollars and in terms of percentage of wages?

o        When will the adjustments begin?

o        For each job, over how much time will the wage adjustments be spread? Will the total amount be equal to the total of the amounts owned each year? Or will the adjustments be implemented gradually?

o        Given the delays in the application of the Act, back to what date will the adjustments be retroactive? 

e) About reporting:

o        According to the Act (art. 15), “An employer shall report to the Bureau as to its progress in implementation of pay equity within 25 months after the commencement of this Act.”  Did the Pay Equity Bureau receive a report from each employer? Are they available to the public?

o        How often and what kind of information has the Pay Equity Bureau requested from the employers of parts I, II, III and IV, in order to monitor the application of the Act?

o        According to the Act (art. 29(3)), “[t]he Bureau shall submit to the Minister an annual report setting out the progress in the implementation and maintenance of pay equity.” Are these annual reports available to the public?

f) About maintenance:

o        When will regulations about the maintenance of pay equity be adopted?

 

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