15 SEPTEMBER 2014
(FREDERICTON, NB) – Strong legislation and the courage to implement it is what is needed to ensure pay equity becomes a part of the way we do business in New Brunswick's public and private sectors, Green Party Leader David Coon said in Fredericton, today.
"Women in New Brunswick want and need better than promises and progress reports," Coon said. "Previous governments have been toying with women's rights for too long and it's time to stop studying pay equity and start implementing legislation to ensure that the private sector pays women a fair and equitable wage based on equal pay for different work of the same value."
Coon said that at a time when women earn only 89 cents compared with every dollar earned by a man, he is troubled by the slow rate of progress on the issue. He is particularly concerned with the 10 year phased in process allowed within the public sector pay equity legislation. Under this legislation pay equity for the public sector may well not be reached until 2022. Also the methodology used for wage comparisons has been heavily critiqued as unfairly disadvantaging many of the public sector's lowest female wage earners.
"We have a system in place that allows the government to set aside a fundamental human right for women while at the same time MLA salaries continue to rise unchecked," Coon said. "It's not a matter of whether or not we can afford to treat women as equals. Women are equal, and we can't afford not to recognize this as a fundamental underlying premise."