FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2019
Richmond Hill, Ontario (May 2, 2019) –SEIU Healthcare is celebrating a decision by Ontario’s Divisional Court that significantly strengthens the pay equity rights of workers in predominantly-female public-sector workplaces.
“This is a significant win for the labour movement and women working in predominantly female workplaces,” said SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart. “After a 13-year battle, we are incredibly pleased that The Court has ruled in favour of the working women of Ontario.”
The decision, made on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, held that women working in predominantly female workplaces, such as private nursing homes, will 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 and the Ontario Nurses’ Association (ONA) have been fighting for the right to update their pay equity plan to account for significant changes in the nursing homes that have taken place since 2005, including a new legislative framework that the nursing homes are operating within, increased educational requirements for members, the increase in resident acuity, and the increased medical services required to meet the needs of residents.
The Participating Nursing Homes resisted the prospect of updating the pay equity plan under the proxy method, arguing that they had fulfilled that requirement in 2005. Now, after over 13 years, SEIU Healthcare and ONA have won the right to update their pay equity plans to reflect our members’ current duties and responsibilities using the proxy method.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the corporations that represent the participating long-term care homes in this case, including Extendicare, Chartwell, Sienna and Revera, have indicated they will continue their fight against their employees and are expected to appeal Tuesday’s decision.
The Government of Ontario, along with those participating long-term care corporations, is also a party in this case and could likewise push back.
“These for-profit long-term care corporations make millions in profits from taxpayer-funded government business,” added Stewart. “Going forward, Premier Ford’s government has a chance to show whose side they’re on. That’s why we call on the Government of Ontario to accept the decision in this case and take the side of the women on the frontlines who dedicate their lives to caring for others, and not the greedy corporations fighting to deny pay equity to workers.”
For more information, including the background of this decision, please click here.
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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