In Depth

This page provides details on the Equal Pay BC issue.

How did we get here?
Read our
Backgrounder.

Equal Pay Briefing

For Government MLAs

 

Overview

  • Community Social Services organizations provide support to BC’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, people with developmental disabilities and those living in poverty.

  • The sector employs over 35,000 people in provincially funded positions, and 17,000 of those people do not belong to unions.

  • From 1994 to 2019, it was government practice to provide the same increases to public sector employers for union and non-union workers in equivalent positions. 

  • In 2019, the government chose to fund Low Wage Redress increases for unionized workers only. 

  • Since 2019, the gap between increases for union and non-union workers has increased by at least 12% and up to 30% for some positions.

  • Recruitment and Retention are significant concerns for the whole social services sector.

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Issue

  • This practice discriminates against a workforce that is almost 80% women.

  • This practice puts services to vulnerable people in BC at risk.

  • Ministry Mandate letters direct ministers to improve services to vulnerable people and address inequities faced by women and people of colour.  This practice of unequal pay contradicts these mandates.

  • Because the government has continued this practice for three years despite advocacy efforts, a group of 11 employees from different agencies, plus 26 agencies, have filed an Unfair Labour Practice complaint against the Provincial Government.

  • There is a Labour Relations Board hearing starting September 20, 2021, to address this complaint.  

  • Regardless of whether the Government wins or loses, they will have established a position against equal pay for people that work in this vital sector.

 

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Action Request

  • Ask the Premier to stop discriminating against workers in Community Social Services.

  • Ask the Minister for Social Development and Poverty Reduction to pay all workers fairly.

  • Ask the Minister for Children and Family Development to pay all workers fairly.

  • Ask the PSEC / Minister of Finance to pay all workers fairly.

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