The NB Government Must Act: We need a Pay Equity Act

Wednesday, July 28 2010

A Pay Equity Act would require that all employers conduct job evaluations and adjust the wages of traditionally or mostly female jobs when they are under-paid.

A Pay Equity Bill at the Legislative Assembly

In June 2004, Elizabeth Weir, leader of the New Democratic Party, introduced our Bill before the Legislative Assembly, and Carmel Robichaud of the Liberal Party supported it. The Government then sent the bill to the Standing Committee on Law Amendments. The Committee held public hearings on November 17, 18 and 26, 2004.

Results of the public hearings on the Pay Equity Bill

Out of 37 presentations to the Committee, 30 supported Bill 77 as is or with minor changes; three preferred the approach put forward by the Round Table, including voluntary measures with the possibility of legislation after five years if progress were deemed unsatisfactory. Three presenters were pay equity experts from outside New Brunswick, two of whom supported pay equity while the other was neutral.

An ongoing issue

The next step is for the Standing Committee on Law Amendments to report to the Legislative Assembly (possibly in March or April 2005) after which the Government will have to accept or reject its recommendations.

In its Throne Speech, the Government has stated its intention to adopt an action plan in response to the Wage Gap Round Table (which is more comprehensive than pay equity and proposes voluntary measures). However, the Coalition for Pay Equity strongly believes the government should also listen to all who participated in the public hearings. We want firm action – a Pay Equity Act – not only voluntary measures.

From: Coalition for Pay Equity NB, coalitio@nb.sympatico.ca

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