April 6, 2021
The Honourable Scott Moe
Premier of Saskatchewan
226 Legislative Building
CANADA S4S 0B3
Re: Pay Equity
Dear Premier Moe,
Saskatchewan has lagged behind in protecting equality for workers. One egregious example is its lack of pay equity legislation for both public and private sector workers. Women are being shortchanged as studies show that they are being paid, on average, less than their male counterparts for work of equal value.
Across the country, Equal Pay Day in marked in April. In Canada, it takes the average woman over 15 months to make the same as the average man did in 12 months. We know the gap is even wider for women facing multiple and intersecting areas of discrimination. Women with disabilities face a 56% gender pay gap; Immigrant women face a 55% gender pay gap; for Indigenous women it is a 45% gender pay gap; and for racialized women there is a 40% gender pay gap.
As Unifor’s Western Regional Director, I am writing to urge your government to introduce proactive pay equity legislation without delay.
It has been 25 years since the Equal Pay for Equal Value Policy Framework for public sector workers in Saskatchewan. It is long past time to bring in proactive legislation requiring gender-neutral job evaluation system and consequential wage adjustments as required.
With federal pay equity legislation due to be in force later this year, over half of Canadian workers will be covered by proactive pay equity legislation. It is time for Saskatchewan workers not to be left out of this equality measure.
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 Saskatchewan will not recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic until women 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 must take to lead the province into a pandemic recovery.
Unifor Western Regional Director