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Equivalency


 

Vic Toews, president of the treasury board, responding to a Liberal question today. “Mr. Speaker, in 2004 the Liberals put in place a task force stating that they wanted proactive, comprehensive, pay equity legislation. This government is bringing that legislation forward. They did not do it. We are getting the job down.”

Vic Toews, president of the treasury board, responding to a Bloc question today. “We are simply following the recommendations of the Liberal task force in 2004 that said proactive pay equity legislation was needed.”

Explanation of the new legislation distributed by Toews’ office. “The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act sets out a new, proactive approach to ensure compensation is equitable. The Act makes employers and bargaining agents jointly accountable for ensuring that wages are fair for all employees through the collective bargaining process…”

Chapter 16, final report of the Pay Equity Task Force, 2004. “The Task Force recommends that the new federal pay equity legislation provide that the process for achieving pay equity be separated from the process for negotiating collective agreements.”


 

Equivalency

  1. And from “Responsibility of Trade Unions” in section 16.1 (after all sorts of language poo-pooing collective bargaining because it is the employer’s legal obligation to see to it that the workplace is free of discrimination):

    Indeed, it is our view that the legislation should specify that, where there are unionized employees in the workplace, the trade union or unions representing those employees should be a vehicle for the selection of representatives of unionized workers in the pay equity process and for the dissemination of information about pay equity issues.

    Which sounds like collective bargaining. Does the new legislation insist that pay equity get wrapped into the renewal of collective agreements? If yes, that’s indeed probably unwise. If not, then fine. I can imagine a scenario where it’s possible to have collective bargaining on stuff outside the collective agreement itself. Like, say, pay equity! The two scenarios above are not necessarily contradictory. Who else would you choose to have represent the workers if not the workers’ representatives? Except for the fact that, to the extent there is gender-based disparity, it is these very same solidarity-forever progressive representatives who threw the ladies under the bus in the first place.

    • The extent to which it sounds like collective bargaining would depend on the extent to which the pay equity process is like collective bargaining. If the employees are playing a completely different role than they would in normal labour relations, then it’s just saying where a union is in place the stuff workers do in the pay equity process should be from the union.

  2. When you’re talking about pay equity you’re really talking about gender equity. If you accept gender equity as a human right, then it seems that pay equity based on gender is part of that human right.

    A human right should not be a bargaining issue like vacation time or hours of work.

    This junk has been going on for forty years. Depressing.

    • Agreed.

      madeyoulook writes:

      “Except for the fact that, to the extent there is gender-based disparity, it is these very same solidarity-forever progressive representatives who threw the ladies under the bus in the first place.”

      As though labour unions existed in pre-biblical times and invented at least three of the world’s major religions.

    • Absolutely right.

  3. Is there a ‘talking point’ from Harper on this that I’ve missed somehow? Or is this just part of Canada’s New Government – we screw who we want when we want and we don’t want any backtalk either?

    Seriously, even Harper must have some rationale for a policy that pisses off even one teeny-tiny-voter let alone an entire gender and then some that could be mobilised against him?

  4. When I compare the Toews’ explanation with the task force report, I hear that little jingling pre-school tune. You know, “One of these things is not like the other…”
    Watching pre-school TV programming prepared me SO-ooo well for these things, like Question Period in the HofC.

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