Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada

March 05, 2012 15:42 ET

International Women's Day: How Rapidly Things Are Changing

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 5, 2012) - Thankfully, women in Canada have more rights now in 2012 than they did a century ago!

In Canada, unionized women have better pay, benefits and pensions than non-unionized women. According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 the average salary for unionized women was $877 per week, compared to non-unionized women who earned $649 per week. Comparatively, the average salary for unionized men is $1048 per week, and in non-unionized settings men can earn $916 per week. "The statistics clearly show that women working in unionized positions earn approximately 35% more than women in non-unionized positions," commented Bonnie Pratt, Prairie/NWT Regional Director and Chair of the Committee on Human Rights in the Workplace for the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC).

"The struggle for gender equality and autonomy is far from over, but labour unions continue to play an integral part in addressing discrimination in the workplace and reducing the salary gap with male counterparts," PIPSC Director Pratt noted.

Between 31 and 33% of Canada's female labour force are unionized and this statistic has been consistent for the last 15 years. "Women deserve fair and equitable representation at the table when it's time to bargain their wages, their pensions and their health care," commented PIPSC Director Bonnie Pratt.

Overall, the female proportion of the Canadian public sector has grown over the past 15 years, from 56.9% in 1997 to 62.4% in 2011. The unionized female proportion of the Canadian public sector rose from 65% in 1997 to 71% in 2011. The federal public service female employment rate in 2010-2011 rests at 54.8%, with 49.6% of these employees working in scientific and professional areas.

"In order to continue to attract women to the labour movement, it is crucial for bargaining agents, like The Professional Institute of the Public Service, to identify and break down barriers that would otherwise prevent women from joining and participating fully" concluded Bonnie Pratt.

With the introduction of the Strategic and Operating Review process in the 2011 budget to achieve $11 billion in cuts, many women working for the federal government are at risk of losing their job.

The Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada is a national union representing some 60,000 professionals and scientists across Canada's public sector.

Contact Information

  • Helen Bobat
    (613) 228-6310 extension 2227