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Hope for the Coalition for Pay Equity: The Federal Government Promises Legislation.

2016-10-07

“We are encouraged by the federal government's commitment to adopt a proactive act on pay equity for the federal civil service and the federally-regulated private sector. However, we urge the government to review its timeline and present its bill before the end of 2017 as recommended by the Special Committee on Pay Equity,” states Vallie Stearns-Anderson, Chair of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity.

Many aspects of the federal government’s response to the House of Commons’ Special Committee on Pay Equity give hope to the Coalition. “It highlights many key recommendations. That augurs well for upcoming legislation,” says Johanne Perron, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity.

The federal government reiterates that equal pay for work of equal value is a human right, favours a proactive approach, and promises to put in place “robust and independent oversight.” The federally-regulated private sector include interprovincial transportation, telecommunication and banking.

On the other hand, the Coalition objects to the government pushing the target date to the end of 2018, a year later than recommended by the Special Committee on Pay Equity.

“Women, organizations and unions have been advocating for the right to pay equity for decades now. The Special Committee on Pay Equity consulted many experts and provided excellent directions for pay equity legislation in its report, last June. So, why more delays? We are afraid that the bill will not have time to go through all the necessary steps before the next federal election », says Vallie Stearns-Anderson.

The Coalition hopes that the federal government will show leadership and send a clear message to provinces by adopting pay equity legislation within quick delays.

“It is time for female-dominated jobs to be valued and paid fairly across the country and in all jurisdictions, both in the private and the public sectors. A federal pay equity act will push provinces to act as well”, states Johanne Perron. 

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