Pay equity is not a whim

Nearly 25 years after the adoption of the Pay Equity Act, the average hourly wage gap remains greater than 10%. At this rate, will we have to wait another 40 years before equity finally becomes reality?

In terms of compensation in Québec, Canada and the rest of the world, women still face systemic discrimination based on gender, despite significant progress achieved through mobilization.

Before the adoption of the Pay Equity Act in 1996, Québec women were at a distinct disadvantage compared to men. The average hourly wage gap was 15.8%. More than two decades later, the gap remains significant.

A closer look at the data contained in the recent report on the implementation of the Pay Equity Act reveals that the first evaluation of pay equity maintenance, the one that counts, has only been completed 69.2% on average.

Bill 10, An Act to amend the Pay Equity Act, was introduced in April 2019, mainly to improve the pay equity audit process. Yet no significant changes were made and the issue remains; this law must be challenged again. Those who lodged a complaint in 2010 and 2015 will not be able to receive the full correction of pay equity and will have to wait to recover the amounts owed to them. The situation is as shocking as it is unfair.

History has proven that we can make things happen when we act together. That is why we are undertaking a series of actions to urge the government to change the law once again, and to correct persistent discrimination and injustices, once and for all.

Let it be said: pay equity is not a whim. It is a right under the law.

Sonia Ethier

President


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