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Caregiving sector: No progress towards pay equity

Moncton — The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is concerned about the lack of progress towards reaching pay equity for care workers. Given the rapid rise in inflation in 2022, the provincial government's investments over the past two years have not brought wages closer to pay equity.

"Jobs across the care sector have long been undervalued and continue to be grossly underpaid, despite repeated budget surpluses. For workers in the sector, inflation is a source of additional hardship and the government must move quickly to ensure equitable compensation, as pay equity is a fundamental human right that is being denied,” says Krysta Cowling, Chair of the Coalition.

In 2021, the Coalition's pay equity exercises with sector employers and employees found that equitable wages ranged from $22 to $25 per hour, depending on the service. Since then, inflation growth of 3.81% in 2021 and 7.3% in 2022[1] has pushed the target farther back, bringing fair wages to between $24.99 an hour for home care workers and $28.86 for family support workers.

"Because the government has been slow to seriously address the wage deficit in this sector, the crisis is escalating—both in terms of stagnant wages and difficulties in recruiting and retaining workers. If wages are not raised to reflect the value of this work, this predominantly female workforce that provides essential services will effectively continue to subsidize the government or will exit the sector entirely," asserts Krysta Cowling. "We urge the government to act now and to target pay equity in the next budget.


Current wages and indexed equitable wages for six caregiving professions in NB (2020 - 2023)

Caregiving professions

2022-2023 Current Wages

Pay equity wages indexed at 2,13 %

Pay equity
 wages indexed
at 3,81 %, based
on 2021 CPI

Pay equity wages indexed at 7,3 %, based on 2022 CPI

Special Care Home Workers





Home Support Workers





Family Support Workers (Adults)





Employment and Support Services
Programs (ESSP) Workers





Crisis Interveners in Transition Houses





Direct Caregivers in Community Residences





Family Support Workers (Children)





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The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is a group of individuals and organizations that pursues and ensures the realization of the right to pay equity and to just conditions of work for women. To that end, the Coalition engages in communication, education, research, advocacy for the adoption and the implementation of adequate legislation, as well as public policy dialogue and development.

Pay equity is equal pay for work of equal value. To achieve pay equity, the value of female-dominated jobs must be compared to the value of male-dominated jobs.


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