Letter to Premier John Horgan re Pay Equity


 April 6, 2021

Via: Email

The Honourable John Horgan Premier of British Columbia
West Annex Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4


Re: Pay Equity

Dear Premier Horgan,

Despite decades of awareness, the gender-pay gap continues for women workers in British Columbia. The commitment to build back better must include a commitment to address this long-standing and persistent gap. It will take focussed attention. I am writing on behalf of Unifor members in British Columbia to urge you to start that action today.

As a government aiming to put in place a progressive agenda, we know you are committed to closing the gender pay gap. Two key tools are missing in BC’s legal landscape – proactive pay equity and pay transparency legislation. Enacting these will allow non-union women to have the same transparency that unionized women have always enjoyed and will remove the burden on women to have to analyse and enforce pay equity on their own.

Proactive pay equity can directly addresses the widest gaps that women workers face, particularly in sectors of the economy where women workers are predominant.

The federal government passed the Pay Equity Act covering federally regulated workers in the private and public sector. It is expected to be in force later this year. This will apply to federally regulated workers in BC resulting in some workers having access to pay equity and others, under provincial jurisdiction, being without. This is unacceptable.

Everyone deserves to be paid fairly for the value of their work, whether their job is done mainly by women, or mainly by men. It is clear that our province will not recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic until women in BC recover from the devastating impact that the pandemic has had on their livelihoods. Addressing the gender pay gap is a necessary and important step your government can take to lead our province into a pandemic recovery.

We urge the BC government to take swift steps to enact proactive pay equity and pay transparency laws.

Yours truly,

Gavin McGarrigle
Unifor Western Regional Director