FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 21, 2019
Richmond Hill, Ontario (May 21, 2019)— SEIU Healthcare is disappointed in the Ontario Government for appealing a decision made by Ontario’s Divisional Court that significantly strengthened the pay equity rights of workers in predominantly-female public-sector workplaces.
On May 2, 2019, SEIU Healthcare called on Premier Ford and the Ontario Government to accept the court decision and take the side of the women working on the frontlines of healthcare instead of the for-profit long-term care corporations that want to deny pay equity to workers.
“We are disgusted, but not surprised, that the Ford government, which claims to be ‘for the people’, has sided with for-profit corporations, instead of 100,000 women working on the frontlines of long-term care,” said SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart. “Unfortunately, after 13 years of waiting, these hardworking women will have to wait even longer to get pay equity maintenance.”
The Attorney General of Ontario has filed a notice of motion for leave to appeal and the Participating Nursing Homes have filed a similar separate notice. The corporations that represent the participating long-term care homes in this case include Extendicare, Chartwell, Sienna, and Revera.
“Instead of supporting working women in Ontario, the government would rather potentially spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees to push back against them,” said Ms. Stewart. “We have the utmost confidence that the Court will uphold their decision and we are committed to defending our long-term care workers until this process is complete and decided in favour of the working women in this province.”
The decision, made on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, held that women working in predominantly female workplaces, such as private nursing homes, would have access to the proxy method of comparison to update and maintain their pay equity plans. The proxy method was introduced to ensure that women in public-sector workplaces with few or no male jobs could use pay equity target rates from workplaces that achieved pay equity using male comparators as a reference point for developing their own pay equity plans.
SEIU Healthcare represents more than 60,000 healthcare and community service workers across Ontario. The union’s members work in hospitals, homecare, nursing and retirement homes, and community services throughout the province. SEIU Healthcare has a strong track record of improving wages, benefits and working conditions for healthcare workers, supporting the training and development needs of its members, and strengthening standards in the management and delivery of patient and client care. www.seiuhealthcare.ca
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