Pay equity in Ontario nursing homes under review by tribunal


Unifor has joined with CUPE in supporting the Equal Pay Coalition’s intervention in a judicial review hearing regarding a pay equity dispute. The Equal Pay Coalition is a group of trade unions, women, businesswomen’s organizations and other community organizations founded in 1974 that has continuously lobbied to close the gender wage gap.

The Equal Pay Coalition intends to intervene in the ONA and SEIU case against a group of Ontario nursing home employers in order to support the unions’ position that the proxy method must be used to maintain pay equity.

The Ontario Pay Equity Commission explains the proxy method, saying:

“Unlike job-to-job and proportional value where comparisons are made within the organization, the proxy comparison method allows organizations in the broader public sector, which have mostly female job classes, to obtain and apply pay equity information from another public sector organization.”

“We firmly believe the proxy method is the most just method to ensure pay equity for our members,” said Katha Fortier, Assistant to the National President. “The fight for equal pay is ongoing and we won’t tolerate employer excuses to pay women less than their male counterparts.”

For nearly a decade, ONA and SEIU have been fighting for pay equity for members working in long-term care. The outcome of their upcoming February 2019 judicial review will be important and have implications for Unifor members in the sector.

The group of nursing homes under review have been accused by the unions of not maintaining proper pay equity for their members, violating the Ontario Pay Equity Act.

“The decision coming from the judicial review will impact how pay equity is maintained for any public sector workplaces that do not have enough male comparators in the workplace to use the job-to-job or proportional value method of calculating pay equity,” said Fortier.

For more information, visit the Pay Equity Coalition website at and follow them on Twitter @EqualPayON.