Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Budget to Cost Pay Equity in Public Sector and Federally Regulated Jobs: Source

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Budget to Cost Pay Equity in Public Sector and Federally Regulated Jobs: Source

Article excerpt

Federal budget to account for pay equity

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OTTAWA - The Trudeau government's upcoming budget will account for the costs of pursuing gender equality when it comes to workers' pay in both the federal public service and all federally regulated workplaces, The Canadian Press has learned.

A senior government official says Finance Minister Bill Morneau's budget will start laying the foundation for Ottawa to deliver on some long-awaited goals towards achieving proactive pay equity in Canada.

While it's not clear how much the measures will cost, the price tag on closing the gender wage gap in such workplaces will likely be significant, since the public service and federally regulated organizations together employ nearly 1.2 million people -- more than six per cent of all workers in Canada.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity about details not yet made public, declined to provide numbers on how much room would be made in the budget -- but said it would be a range to allow Ottawa to negotiate pay equity through various rounds of collective bargaining with unions.

The source also said the pay equity specifics would be released at a later date in proposed legislation, and not in the budget.

The government is looking to improve the existing pay equity system by making it proactive, rather than sticking with the current complaints-based system.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told last month's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that his government would introduce legislation this year to ensure equal pay for work of equal value in federal jobs.

Trudeau described pay equity as merely a first step toward encouraging more women to enter the workforce. Equal pay doesn't mean equal opportunity, or equal treatment, or equal sacrifice, he said -- rather, women continue to face many barriers in the workplace.

Canada has long struggled to address the wage gap. …

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