Moncton – The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is very disappointed by the significant setback on pay equity in the Liberal Party’s election platform. However, the Coalition notes that the Green Party and the New Democratic Party (NDP) are promising to extend pay equity to the private sector.
“We commend the Green Party and the NDP for their ongoing commitment to pay equity in the private sector. However, we are dismayed by the Liberal Party’s decision to renege on its 2018 promise,” says Frances LeBlanc, Chair of the Coalition for Pay Equity.
In its 2018 election platform, the Liberal Party committed to “pass legislation to require pay equity implementation for local governments and the quasi-public sector by 2020 and for large businesses in the private sector by 2022”. During a press conference, the Party specified that the law would apply to businesses with 50 or more employees.
In 2020, this promise is reduced to ensuring pay equity only in the caregiving sector, with no mention of legislation.
The Coalition is all the more astonished by this turnaround because the Liberal Party had introduced a bill to extend pay equity to private sector employers with 20 or more employees in November 2018, when it had just arrived at the opposition. In addition, during a January 2020 meeting, the Liberal caucus had assured Coalition representatives that the party would not go back on its pay equity promises.
“At a time when the pandemic particularly affects women and even threatens to wipe out multi-generational gains in labour force participation, it is more important than ever to strive for greater economic equality through pay equity,” says LeBlanc.
Pay equity is equal pay for work of equal value. Pay equity is achieved when female-dominated jobs are paid the same as male-dominated jobs of the same value.
A Green government would:
- require pay equity in the private sector by 2025, and provide support to small businesses to help them carry comparative job analyses.
A New Democratic Party government would:
- achieve pay equity in the private sector. [They] would start by requiring a pay equity study and implementing pay equity in the community care sector.
Johanne Perron is the executive director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity.