Ontario Equal Pay Coalition

Ontario Equal Pay Coalition

April 11, 2017 10:00 ET

Equal Pay Coalition calls for concrete action

A new Pay Transparency Act to close the gender pay gap

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 11, 2017) - The Gender Pay Gap in Ontario is a shocking 30% for the average woman. On average, women need to work 15.5 months to make up what a man makes in 12 months.

"This 'average' figure does not capture the depth of the human rights crisis working women experience. The gender pay gap for Indigenous women is approximately 57%. Racialized and immigrant women face a gap of 37% to 39%. Women who are recent immigrants earn, on average, 57% as much as a white man. Women with disabilities face a 46% pay gap," said Equal Pay Coalition co-chair Fay Faraday. "The gender pay gap is an economic crisis where the government's own statistics show they lose $18 billion from Ontario's economy per year which is equivalent to the economic total of the auto-parts sector."

Today, the Coalition called on the Ontario government to take concrete action to close the gender pay gap.

According to Faraday, the lack of transparency fosters wage inequality and a new Pay Transparency Act is a basic step to close the gap.

"This law would require annual mandatory reporting by private and public sector employers to the Ministry of Labour on the state of the gender pay gap in their workplaces, by individual classification and job status," said Faraday.

"Women, particularly immigrant and racialized women, make up the vast majority of minimum wage earners. Women represent two-thirds of part-time workers," said Co-ordinator of the Workers Action Centre and $15 Fairness campaign Deena Ladd. "By raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and proactive enforcement to end wage theft, the gender pay gap will start to close. These actions must be part of the government's strategy to close the gap."

"Closing the gender pay gap is a question of women's economic justice," said Patty Coates, Secretary-Treasurer of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "The strategy requires the government to increase funding to broader public sector employers to meet their pay equity obligations and to modernizing labour relations laws. We know access to unionization is one of the most effective tools to close the gender pay gap and we need to curb the decline in the private sector where the gender pay gap is 37%."

According to the Coalition, there is no more time for delay. The time to act is now.

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