Press Release


Pay equity in community residences: Inching Forward


Inching Forward

- Almost a year after results of a pay equity study for home support workers, transition house workers and child care workers, the NB government finally released results for community residence workers. 

According to the NB Coalition for Pay Equity, the rates of pay that aim for equity with male-dominated jobs represent an improvement for community residence workers.  Indeed, these results are better than the ones determined for home support workers, transition house workers and child care workers.

However, the Chair of the NB Coalition for Pay Equity is careful to explain that these recommended rates of pay for community residence workers, who are predominantly women, do not represent true pay equity, which means equal pay for work which may be different but has equal value.

“For workers providing care to adults in this sector, $14.80 as an hourly rate is much better than the average pay of $11.95 they currently receive.  This is much better than the results for home support and child care workers at $13.15,” explains Coalition Chair, Vallie Stearns.  “While we have some improvements, not all the principles of pay equity have been followed in this study.”

The improved results come from the fact that this time around, the government took into account one out of six recommendations advanced by the Coalition. This time they used more recent male wage data (2012) to determine equitable wages for 2013 for this female-dominated sector.  The last time they used 2010 male wage data to determine pay equity adjustments for 2012.

“This single change was enough to bring about higher results for community residence workers,” said Vallie Stearns, “but we are still inching forward.  We continue to ask the government to fairly calculate the true value of this work.”

Principles of pay equity promoted by the Coalition for Pay Equity include things like using accurate job descriptions and market-based wage data for all male comparators, in this case maintenance workers and foremen, without excluding unionized workplaces.  Most importantly, wage adjustments should not be spread over 4 years with no cost-of-living increases.

“The sad fact is that community residence workers will finally earn in 2016, what they should have earned in2013.  Women are still being left behind,” concludes Vallie Stearns.  “This proves more than ever that we need pay equity legislation for the private sector.”

Pay Equity Act, 2009 only applies to the public sector. It does not apply to services contracted or subsidized by the government such as those provided by community residences, home support agencies or child care centers.

To develop New Brunswick expertise on measuring and calculating pay equity, the Coalition will soon be hosting a workshop on methodology, and will invite a pay equity expert to its AGM on June 14th.




2013 average hourly rate

“Fair” hourly rate according to government

Inequity per hour

Direct Caregiver (Adults)




Supervisor / Direct Caregiver (Adults)




Direct Caregiver (Children)




Supervisor / Direct Caregiver (Children)





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