Union calls on the provincial government and for-profit nursing homes to finally give working women in the care economy fair pay.
Richmond Hill, Ontario — The Supreme Court of Canada has denied the Attorney General of Ontario’s appeal, upholding a decision confirming that workers in female-dominated workplaces, such as for-profit nursing homes, are permitted to have continued access to the proxy method of comparison for maintaining their pay equity rights. The proxy method allows for a systematic comparison between female wages to male wages to ensure wage discrimination based on gender does not occur.
“Today’s ruling is a historic and conclusive win for women working in the care economy. Now that the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled in our favour, it’s time Premier Ford and the for-profit nursing home chains drop any further attempt to deny women working in long-term care the pay equity they deserve,” said SEIU Healthcare President Sharleen Stewart. “We are in the worst healthcare staffing crisis we’ve seen since the 1990s, and while it’s easy to point fingers at the pandemic, the truth is women are leaving healthcare in record numbers because they’re being denied secure jobs with decent pay by the government and big companies like Chartwell, Extendicare, Sienna and Revera, which have for decades shamefully put corporate profit before women and care.”
In May 2019, the Ford government and affected for-profit nursing homes filed an appeal on an Ontario Divisional Court decision that granted personal support workers, nurses and other healthcare workers in private nursing homes without access to male comparators in their workplaces the right to maintain pay equity with continuing reference to a male comparator. That appeal was heard by the Ontario Court of Appeal, and they ruled in favour of working women this past March. This decision was appealed once again, this time to the Supreme Court of Canada. Today’s denial of that appeal ends a provincial battle that began in 1995.
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. www.seiuhealthcare.ca