We are taking time on this Equal Pay Day to reflect on how far we’ve come to ensure women are treated equally, but we’re also thinking about how much more must be done.
Equal Pay Day aims to draw attention to the gap that still exists between wages for men and women and speaks to how much further into the year a woman must work, in order to earn what a man made the entire previous year. This year, the day falls on April 12. The data shows a woman must work 16 months to earn what a man does in a period of 12 months.
Equal Pay for Equal Work also refers to similarity of duties and functions performed in carrying out a job, the practical and the technical skills. At its core, whether the work is being performed by a man or a woman, the pay must be the same.
Under equal pay, if an employee believes that they are not being paid fairly, whether seasonal, part-time, or contract workers, they have the right to ask for a review. Under Bill 47, the employer is no longer required to accommodate such request.
While we have made gains since the creation of the Ontario Equal Pay Commission in 1976, the work is far from done. A poll done for the commission found that affordable housing, permanent paid sick days, a living minimum wage, increased funding for the promotion of well-being of Indigenous women and implementing the Pay Transparency Act were crucial parts to the economic equality of women.
OPSEU/SEFPO is a proud member of the Equal Pay Coalition, which is hosting the first Ontario party leaders debate held on women’s issues on April 12 at 7pm. This debate will cover important topics including the minimum wage, paid sick days, child care, Bill 124, and closing the gender pay gap. Rregister and watch the debate online.
By working together and amplifying our voices, we can pressure decision-makers and elected officials of all levels of government to make the changes our communities need and to ensure they keep equity at the forefront of the choices they make.
OPSEU/SEFPO is proud to be a social justice union and we will forge forward towards tomorrow, together and continue to be a leader!
JP Hornick, OPSEU/SEFPO President
Laurie Nancekivell, OPSEU/SEFPO First Vice-President/Treasurer
OPSEU/SEFPO Provincial Women’s Committee (PWC)