In the Chamber -- Grant Mitchell's Blog

Pay Equity

Posted 2/6/2009 by Grant Mitchell


A breath of absolutely fresh air… the first bill signed into law today by President Obama dealt with pay equity. It is a disappointing contrast that Prime Minister Harper has announced his intention to prohibit women from filing pay equity complaints with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. President Obama has advanced the cause of women’s equality and Mr. Harper has hurt it.


Women may be paid less not because their jobs are less important or their level in the job is less significant. They are often paid less simply because they are women.


Mr. Harper argues that women, who work in federally regulated jobs, can redress pay equity concerns in collective bargaining agreements. There will be women however, who do not belong to a union and will not have access to a collective bargaining process. Mr. Harper has not made it clear how he intends to safeguard these women’s right to pay equity.


Moreover, what confidence can women have in the collective bargaining process anyway? Just last fall, Mr. Harper announced his intention to overrule public sector collective agreements signed just days earlier.

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