Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

March 22, 2013 15:38 ET

Media Advisory: No more lip service to pay equity

Social service workers shake it up Saturday with action to "get out of the red" and close gender pay gap

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 22, 2013) - Child care, child welfare, developmental service and community agency staff who work in "female dominated" jobs are directly affected by wage inequality in Ontario. They say they've had enough lip service to pay equity and want Ontario's new premier to take action in closing the pay gap between women and men.

This Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 12:30 p.m. they're ready to shake things up with a "get out of the red" dance action at Nathan Phillips Square, in support of the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition's campaign - Take Action to Close the Gender Pay Gap - and their call for Ontario's first annual Equal Pay Day, Tuesday, April 9.

Several hundred participants from all over Ontario will wear red at the event as a symbol that, in Ontario women are "in the red" because they earn 28 per cent less than men, for work of equal value. The pay gap is even bigger for racialized women, women with disabilities and Aboriginal women. The social service workers are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) and are working with the Ontario Equal Pay Coalition to change pay inequality.

The goal of pay equity also known as equal pay for work of equal value is to stop discrimination related to the under-valuation of work traditionally performed by women. The provincial government is supposed to fund social service agencies to maintain pay equity.

"But provincial underfunding of social services often results in agencies being forced to decide between meeting their obligations to equity and maintaining valuable services and supports for Ontarians who rely on them. We say Ontario's new premier - a woman - should take immediate action to lessen wage inequality," says Carrie Lynn Poole-Cotnam, an Ottawa municipal social assistance worker.

Contact Information

  • Stella Yeadon
    CUPE Communications