Following Community Living Tillsonburg’s earlier refusal to make pay equity payments as required by the law, the union representing workers in the developmental services across the province is ramping up its fight to achieve pay equity.
In a strongly-worded letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) President Warren (Smokey) Thomas (pictured above: youtube.com) said that, if the Premier is serious about closing the gender wage gap, then she must start by funding and enforcing pay equity in a sector that’s already been waiting 30 years for it.
The Pay Equity Act, which became law in 1988, requires Ontario employers to identify instances of gender-based wage discrimination and make payments to eliminate it. However, a number of employers in the sector have not been paying up. Now, OPSEU members are owed thousands of dollars.
Referring to the recent Gender Wage Gap Review and subsequent report, Thomas wrote to Wynne: “you have been told what to do; now is the time to do it.”
He called on the Premier to: immediately start funding pay equity in the developmental services sector; ensure that agencies do not lay off any OPSEU members to pay for their legal pay equity obligations; and mandate that all agencies in the Broader Public Sector that use the proxy comparison method make public their financial plans to achieve and maintain pay equity.
The President also urged the Premier to “stand up for women’s fundamental human right to equal pay for work of equal value.”