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The NB Coalition for Pay Equity worries about its funding

2010-04-08

The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is worried about the 2-month delay in getting a response for its 2010-2013 project funding proposal to Status of Women Canada.
Funding for four New Brunswick projects have already been announced by the Minister of State for the Status of Women, Helena Guergis. The Coalition cannot understand the government’s hesitation.
“We have consistently reached our objectives in the ten years we received funding from Status of Women Canada (SWC)”, says Elizabeth Blaney, Anglophone Vice-Chair of the Coalition.
"We have the ability to carry out this new project, and we are convinced it will have a positive, lasting and concrete impact on women in New Brunswick," explained Elizabeth Blaney "Without this funding, our work will be much more limited, and little support will be provided to our volunteers who are already doing a lot."
The grant from Status of Women Canada would enable the Coalition for Pay Equity to work closely with women from across the province, helping them to develop their leadership skills and become more actively involved in the democratic and economic life of their community. With the guidance of the not-for-profit organization, they would be able to take concrete actions to improve their own lives and those of other women. For instance, they would learn how to raise awareness around their issues, to speak in the media and to network.
"The Coalition has developed an expertise that is recognized by members of the community as well as by the government. Its work contributes to improving the economic status of women throughout the province," explained the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women, Rosella Melanson.
With 700 individual and 81 organizational members, the Coalition is without a doubt one of the most important groups defending the rights of women in the province.
The last Coalition project funded by Status of Women Canada provided women working in traditionally female jobs with the means to raise awareness about the value of their work and to work towards achieving pay equity in their workplace. For instance, after a workshop that included a presentation of a play entitled "We Don't Work for Peanuts!", a group of human service workers employed at Adult Development Activities, Programs and Training Centres (ADAPT) decided to inform the public about their work and to take action to improve their wages.
"The skills and knowledge we gained through the Coalition really helped us bring our issues to the government and the media’s attention," states Suzanne Martin, Executive Director of the Centre Horizon. "Our employees do a tremendous job but, like a lot of people in jobs held mainly by women, they're underpaid. The Coalition helped us to show the value of our work and to justify why it deserves a better pay."  
After several years of hard work, the Coalition has made great strides towards pay equity - equal pay for work of equal value – including the adoption of a provincial pay equity act for the public sector in June 2009. It also raised awareness about the value of the work of thousands of women, such as daycare and home support workers. Five groups providing services mandated by the government are now completing a pay equity program in partnership with the provincial government. 
The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity was founded in 1998. It is working for a society in which traditionally or predominantly feminine jobs are valued and paid more equitably.

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