prepared by Cavaluzzo Shilton McIntyre & Cornish LLP

July 2013




This updated CSMC Trade Union Guide gives an overview of employers’  obligations and union’s rights and obligations in respect of closing discriminatory gender-based pay gaps experienced by bargaining unit members. The right to pay and employment free from gender discrimination is a human right. Gender-based discrimination has contributed significantly to women’s jobs generally being paid less than men’s jobs of comparable value as well to women being found in the lower paying, lower valued jobs in workplaces.

This Guide gives trade unions and other equality seekers some useful tools to help in addressing these gender pay gaps which still permeate Canadian workplaces. While the Guide focusses on Ontario workplaces and laws, it provides information which is helpful across Canada. The Guide includes measures to ensure compliance under Ontario’s Pay Equity Act. It also addresses measures to enforce the human rights of employees to employment equity – to be free from gender pay gaps either under the anti-discrimination provisions of the collective agreement, directly through a Human Rights Code application to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario or using the human rights provisions of the Labour Relations Act.

Appendix A     Pay Equity Act Compliance Checklist
Appendix B     Overview of the Pay Equity Act
Appendix C     Pay Equity Act Compliance – Making Visible and Valuing Women’s Work Appendix D     List of Cases cited in the Guide

Pay equity laws and policies are directed at ensuring that men and women are paid equally where they do work of equal value. Human rights and employment equity laws and policies are directed at ensuring that steps are taken to remove barriers and take positive measures to give women equal access to higher paying, often male-dominated work. Both laws and policies are necessary to close the gender pay gaps found in unionized and non-unionized workplaces.

Paying women fairly and providing them with equal opportunities in the labour market is essential to getting our economy back on track. Working women power Canada’s economy. Closing workplace gender pay gaps is one of the key building blocks for forging a  fair, productive and sustainable society.

Read more (PDF)