CAPE welcomes the government’s desire to ensure pay equity, but criticizes the two-year delay in its application

CAPE welcomes the Canadian government for its desire to adopt measures requiring employers to eliminate systemic obstacles to pay equity in the workplace. However, after dozens of studies pointing to sustainable solutions, it’s unfortunate that the government won’t be making its changes effective until 2018.

“Canadian women experience pay inequity on a daily basis,” explain CAPE President Emmanuelle Tremblay. “The government recognizes that this is unacceptable in 2016, but in the same breath announces that the legislative changes will have to wait another two years. The situation has been analysed at length and there are solutions to correct it. It’s shameful that action isn’t being taken immediately.”

The government may feel that it must still consult the federally regulated private sector before taking action, but there is no need for it to wait where the federal public service is concerned. We call on the government to immediately repeal the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act adopted in 2009 under the Conservatives. This unfair act deprives federal public service employees and unions of the tools they need to effectively challenge violations of public-sector employees’ right to equal pay for work of equal value. If this right is a human right, as the government says, repealing this act would send a strong signal and set the stage for changes affecting the private sector.

CAPE represents 13,000 federal public servants whose work informs sound policymaking and assures the equal status of both official languages in government affairs. These include, among others, economists, statisticians, social science employees, translators, interpreters, terminologists, analysts and research assistants. Women account for 58% of employees in the Economics and Social Science Services (EC) Group and 77% of the employees in the Translation (TR) Group represented by the union.