OPSEU Provincial Women's Committee

Wear red on Equal Pay Day – April 16


Equal Pay Day marks how far into the next year a woman has to work to match what a man has made in the previous year. In Ontario this year Equal Pay Day will take place on Wednesday, April 16.

The Ontario gender pay gap has now increased to 31% which is one of the biggest reported gaps in the world. To close the gap and bring women out of the “red” and into the “black” the OPSEU Provincial Women’s Committee is asking all sisters and supportive brothers to wear red on April 16.

Tell your Facebook friends and Twitter followers about this important date by posting a picture of yourself decked out in your finest crimson clothing and be sure to mention #EqualPayDay and #OPSEU.

Other actions you can take

Sign the Declaration to demand that the Ontario government and employers finally close the gender pay gap for good!

Details here:

Join one of the Equal Pay Day events taking place across Ontario or create your own.

Details here:


Background Information

Equal Pay Day is an International day of action. On April 16th; we will once again focus on the continued struggle for women equality and the push to end gender discrimination that continues to see women earn proportionately less than men for equal work.

Closer to home, Pay Equity is the Law in Ontario. The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination of any sort based on gender. The continuation of lower pay to women who possess comparable skills and competences with men is therefore a denial of women’s basic human rights to fair treatment.

Women of Color, Aboriginal Women, and Women with disabilities bear the worst blunt of Equal Pay Gap. A Society that continues to discriminate against women’s abilities by denying them a comparable source of livelihood to that of men is one that is not succeeding in fighting the injustices of poverty and women’s marginalization.

OPSEU is therefore proud of the Provincial Women’s Committee’s (PWC) role and relentless push to advocate for women’s equality through Equal Pay for Equal Work Campaign. This is a PWC initiated grassroots campaign that this Committee is coordinating as one of the main highlighted events for the year.

As we continue to create awareness on the importance of Equal Pay Day in Canada, here is a brief summary of the origin of this day for your further information.

  • 1988: Red Purse’ US Equal Pay Day Campaign initiated by the U.S. Business Professional Women’s Clubs.

  • 1996: U.S. National Committee on Pay Equity declared an Equal pay day.

  • 1998: U.S. President Bill Clinton proclaimed Equal Pay Day

  • 2008: Equal Pay Day brought to Europe by Germany

  • 2009/2010: Equal Pay Day expanded throughout Europe

  • 2010: E.U. organizes Equal Pay Day

  • 2011: E.U. follows the calculator formula and organizes the first European Equal Pay Day on March 5th 2011.

Some Fun Facts

  • The Symbol for Equal Pay Day is Red.

  • On Equal Pay Day Women and supporting men wear Red.

  • Red stands for the fact that women are “in the red” due to their underpayment.

  • The Red Bag stands for red numbers in women’s pockets.

For more information, please visit the website links below.


Closing Ontario's Gender Pay Gap: what are the facts? Download the poster

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