Moncton - The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity welcomes the promises to invest in the wages of community care services made in the platforms of the Liberal, Green, and New Democratic Party (NDP).
"We’re glad that all of the unveiled election platforms recognize the important of work of care workers. All too often, this predominantly female workforce is systematically underpaid and undervalued," says Frances LeBlanc, the Chair of the Coalition.
Frontline workers in the caregiving and child care sectors deserve significant and permanent wage increases to receive fair wages. The under-valuation of these jobs has resulted in important challenges in the recruitment and retention of qualified workers, thus threatening the availability of quality services for our most vulnerable citizens.
“In the midst of the pandemic, we praised the work done to care for our senior citizens, people living with a handicap, children, and women fleeing violence—work that is mostly done by women. Yet, this workforce still only earns $14 to $16 an hour, when we exclude the temporary top-up allocated during the pandemic. It is time to prove that we truly value this work by investing in the wages and ensuring pay equity”, added Frances LeBlanc.
The Coalition launched its Valuing community caregiving work project in November 2018 to evaluate the adequacy of wages in the community care sector with the goal of achieving pay equity. The project’s committees are made up of employees and employers from the sector. They hope to use the results from the job evaluations to advocate for wage increases to reach pay equity.
“Pay equity and community care are social issues that affect us all. Collectively, through our governments, we can improve gender equality and ensure quality services for all of us, at each step of our lives. It is every political party’s responsibility,” she concluded.
The Coalition is concerned that the Progressive Conservatives and the People's Alliance have yet to unveil their platform and their commitments to the community caregiving sector.
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A Green government would:
- increase wages for all workers in the nursing home sector;
- provide adequate funding to support salaries of workers providing community services and childcare service.
An NDP government would:
- finally raise wages for those providing home care and community care services.
A Liberal government would:
- ensure the implementation of Pay Equity for employees providing Long Term Care services funded by the province.