Moncton — A pay equity maintenance exercise conducted by the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity found that wages in three community care-giving services are still far from reaching pay equity.
For the Coalition, this finding demonstrates the urgency to develop a plan and invest in the wages of the employees in the sector to achieve pay equity. It details its analysis in its new report "The Value of Care: Pay equity maintenance in home care, transition houses and community residences".
The purpose of the maintenance exercise was to update the pay equity evaluations conducted by the provincial government between 2008 and 2014 for four selected jobs:
- Home Care Worker
- Crisis Intervener in transition houses for women victims of violence
- Direct Care Giver in community residences for adults
- Direct Care Giver in community residences for children
The new evaluations show that fair wages should be about $22 to $25 per hour. The reality is quite different. Wages range from $15.30 to about $16.80 per hour. Based on this analysis, the Coalition is urging the government to prioritize the sector.
Fair wages according to the Coalition's
pay equity maintenance exercise
"These jobs are significantly underpaid. The pandemic has increased public awareness of the value of this work. Yet the sector has been in crisis for years. Without government intervention and targeted investments, recruitment and retention will become increasingly difficult and families will struggle to access the services and care they need," explains Frances LeBlanc, Chair of the Coalition.
The Coalition recommends that the government develop a five-year plan to achieve pay equity in the sector and extend pay equity legislation to all employers in the province.
"Political will is essential to convert the data from this exercise into fair, equitable and continuous wage adjustments. Recent governments have invested in wages in the sector, but unevenly and intermittently. A solid plan is necessary to ensure a stable, valued and fairly paid workforce. We are prepared to work with the government to strengthen community care-giving," added Frances LeBlanc.
The Coalition extends its thanks to the employees and employer representatives from the sector who took part in the job evaluations for this pay equity maintenance exercise. The Coalition undertook this exercise as part of the project "Valuing Work in the Community Care-Giving Sector", funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada. The report released today outlines the process followed to determine the level of fair wages.
The Coalition recommends:
- That the provincial government develop and implement a five-year plan to reach pay equity in the whole community care sector, including:
- Increased public investments in wages until pay equity is achieved
- The development of wage scales taking pay equity into account
- The annual indexation of wage scales based on the consumer price index
- Pay equity exercises for all community care jobs that have not been evaluated
- That the government ensures the maintenance of pay equity in the community care sector every five years;
- That the government extends the pay equity act to the entire private sector.