Wear RED on April 16, 2014 - Show your support for Equal Pay
April 9, 2014 — Although pay equity is the law in Ontario, women, on average, earn 31% less than men. This pay gap affects women of all ages and education levels. Women of colour, Aboriginal women and women with disabilities face the worst discrimination.
The Equal Pay Coalition was formed in 1976 as a coalition of organizations seeking implementation of equal pay for work of equal value both through legislation and collective bargaining. The Coalition has over 39 constituent and partner group representing Ontario women and men who support equal pay for work of equal value. OSSTF/FEESO is a member of the Equal Pay Coalition.
Despite the work done by the Equal Pay Coalition in the past 40 years, the pay gap actually widened by 3% in 2014. In 2013, Equal Pay Day occurred on April 9. In 2014, women will have to work an additional 106 days or the equivalent of working until April 16th , until their average annual earnings equal that of men. The reasons for the pay gap are complex but include:
- The underemployment of women → women make up the majority of part-time workers
- Lack of access to affordable childcare for women who want full-time work
- The segregation of women into lower paid job classes. In general, the higher the concentration of women, the lower the pay.
- Women’s dominance in minimum wage jobs
- Women’s lack of access to collective bargaining
Based on the increased gender pay gap of 31%, Ontario women will have to work an additional 14 years, one year more than last year, in order to earn the same pay which a man earns by age 65, at the current rate of progress.
Pay gaps are a human rights violation. It’s time to speak up. OSSTF/FEESO members are encouraged to wear red on April 16 to mark Equal Pay Day. Events are scheduled in six Ontario Communities: Kingston, London, Ottawa, Sudbury, Toronto, and Windsor. Visit the Equal Pay Coalition website at www.equalpaycoalition.org for more information about the events, resources and an Action Kit with graphics for a website link, Equal Pay Day flyers, poster, Facebook/Twitter Avatar, Sample Op-Ed letters, and videos.