Saturday, February 28, 2009



As long as we are talking about women's rights here's an example closer to home, from the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). One of the things about Sneaky Stevie's new budget down Ottawa way that has been more or less lost in the swirling debate about where to throw the mountains of government money is the budget's effect on pay equity. CUPE would like Canadians to pay a bit more attention. Here's the story and appeal.

Controversial pay equity bill has no place in the budget:
Please take a minute to email your MP about the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act, a controversial law that would take away federal government workers' rights to file human rights complaints over pay equity.

The Harper government has made this law part of the federal budget, even though there's no proof it will save the government money.

But it will confine pay equity to collective agreement negotiations, where the federal government has shown its willingness to legislate wage increases and undermine collective agreements.

If this bill passes, women's rights to equal pay for work of equal value will be on the chopping block.
Please go to THIS LINK to send the following letter to your MP.
On February 6, 2009, the government tabled legislation that will radically change the rules governing pay equity in the federal public sector.

The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act - which has been included as part of the omnibus Budget Implementation Act - will remove the right of public sector workers to file complaints for pay equity with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. It will transform pay equity from a human right to an "equitable compensation issue" that could be traded away at the bargaining table.

Pay equity is a fundamental human right that must not be taken away at a bargaining table where the federal government historically holds the balance of power. The Harper government has already demonstrated its commitment to legislating wage increases and undermining collective agreements. Now, women's rights will be on the chopping block.

The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act will effectively eliminate women's ability to pursue pay equity complaints by forcing them to file complaints as individuals. This bill will also impose a $50,000 fine on any union that encourages or assists their own members in filing a pay equity complaint, leaving women to fight the system unaided. Since no individual can afford to do so, this will clearly be a mockery of justice.

The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act won't help the economy or save jobs.

Government officials have admitted that there's no proof it will save the government any money. However, it will prevent women in the federal public sector from receiving equal pay for work of equal value. It has no place in the budget.

I am extremely concerned that the government would table such a bill, and I call on you to put pressure on your party and on the government to ensure that the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act is removed from the Budget Implementation Act.

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