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Special Delivery for Premier Graham: signatures from all over the province

2009-12-18


The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity elf delivered 1200 Christmas cards to Premier Shawn Graham, this morning, in the lobby of the Legislative Assembly. The humorous cards were signed by citizens across the province in a request for a law to be enacted and brought into force promptly, compelling private sector employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value.

The Premier, joined by the minister responsible for Status of Women, Mary Schryer, stated that his government would not legislate on pay equity in the private sector for now. He recalled the launch of the Equality at Work program. The program proposes only voluntary measures to a human rights issue.

“The Coalition applauds the government for enacting pay equity legislation in the public sector and for the assistance they will provide so that five groups of employees who deliver essential services ranging from child care to elderly care can benefit from pay equity. Voluntary measures do not work for the private sector. Legislation is required for pay equity to be accessible to all. It is a matter of justice”, replied NB Coalition for Pay Equity President, Marilyn MacCormack.

Private sector employees have had five years to comply to voluntary measures through the wage gap reduction plan. Only seven of the province’s 23 000 companies are taking part in the Equality at Work program so far.

Pay equity is achieved through a job evaluation process. A wage increase is necessary only when traditionally or predominantly female jobs are paid less than jobs of equal value with a predominantly male workforce.

Pay equity is a human right and everyone is entitled to human rights.

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