Statement - Statement by the President of the Treasury Board welcoming the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act



    OTTAWA, Feb. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Vic Toews, President of the
Treasury Board, today released the following statement on the introduction of
the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act.
    "As the President of the largest employer in the federal public sector, I
welcome the new Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act.
    Our government respects the principle of equal pay for work of equal
value. That is why we have taken action to update the lengthy, costly and
adversarial complaint-based pay equity regime. It didn't serve employees or
employers well. In many cases women were waiting 15 years or more for a
resolution to pay equity complaints after gruelling and divisive debates in
court.
    The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act sets out a new, proactive
approach to ensure compensation is equitable. The Act makes employers and
bargaining agents jointly accountable for ensuring that wages are fair for all
employees through the collective bargaining process - the forum for wage
setting in a unionized environment. For non-unionized employees, the Act sets
out a rigorous process to ensure employers address issues in a timely way.
    Further, the new Act strengthens transparency and accountability by
requiring employers and bargaining agents to provide reports to employees
explaining what has been done to ensure equitable compensation.
    Over the past 10 years, women have made important strides in the federal
public service and with a continuously increasing number of women in our
workforce, our government is determined to put in place a system that is more
timely and proactive in providing equitable compensation.
    The new system maintains the right of women to lodge complaints through
the Public Service Labour Relations Board, an independent body. This
organization has played a key role as a neutral third-party in resolving
issues around collective bargaining and is providing research on wages to
support the parties through the bargaining process.
    We look forward to working with our partners to develop regulations to
bring into effect the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act."

    
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                                 Fact Sheet
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                                                          February 6, 2009

                 THE PUBLIC SECTOR EQUITABLE COMPENSATION ACT
                 --------------------------------------------

    This government respects the principle of equal pay for work of equal
value - a fundamental right guaranteed under the Canadian Human Rights Act.
The existing complaint-based pay equity regime has left us with a lengthy,
costly and adversarial process and does not take into account the realities of
the Canadian labour market.
    The Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act sets out a new, more
proactive and timely regime to address these issues in the federal public
sector. The new approach is:

    - proactive - employers are required to proactively ensure wages are
      equitable, either through equitable compensation plans for non-
      unionized employees or with bargaining agents through the collective
      bargaining wage-setting process for unionized employees;
    - timely - issues are resolved as they arise within the collective
      bargaining process for unionized employees or through established wage-
      setting processes for non-unionized employees instead of through
      lengthy legal proceedings;
    - fair - all employees will have access to the Public Service Labour
      Relations Board, an independent and neutral third party, to settle
      complaints; and
    - collaborative - employers and bargaining agents are jointly accountable
      for ensuring equitable compensation.

    The legislation applies to the Treasury Board of Canada as employer for
departments and agencies listed in Schedule I and IV of the Financial
Administration Act, to separate agencies as employers for departments and
agencies listed in Schedule V of the Financial Administration Act, to the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and to the Canadian Forces.

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                    CURRENT REGIME             PUBLIC SECTOR
                                               EQUITABLE
                                               COMPENSATION ACT
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    Legislation     Canadian Human Rights Act  Public Sector Equitable
    -----------     (Section 11).              Compensation Act
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    Accountability  Employer had the sole      Employer and union have
    --------------  accountability.            joint accountability for
                                               unionized employees; employer
                                               has accountability for non-
                                               unionized employees.
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    Application     Applied to the federal     Applies to the Treasury
    -----------     public service and the     Board of Canada as employer
                    federally regulated        of departments and agencies
                    private sector.            in Schedule I and IV of the
                                               Financial Administration Act,
                                               separate agencies as employers
                                               for departments and agencies
                                               listed in Schedule V of the
                                               Financial Administration Act,
                                               the Royal Canadian Mounted
                                               Police and the Canadian
                                               Forces.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Proactivity     No proactive action        Requires federal public
    -----------     guaranteed in the          service employers and unions
                    legislation.               to act proactively to ensure
                                               equitable compensation through
                                               collective bargaining and for
                                               employers to establish
                                               proactive equitable
                                               compensation plans for non-
                                               unionized employees.
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    Value of work   Value assessed on skill,   Value assessed on skill,
    -------------   effort, responsibility     effort, responsibility and
                    and working conditions.    working conditions along with
                                               consideration of
                                               qualifications and market
                                               factors.
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    Thresholds      Set the gender             Sets the gender predominance
    ----------      predominance threshold at  threshold at 70% for all
                    70% for groups with under  employee groups.
                    100 employees, 60% for
                    groups between 100 and
                    500 employees, and 55%
                    for groups of over 500
                    employees.
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    Recourse        Canadian Human Rights      Public Service Labour
    --------        Commission addressed all   Relations Board to address
                    complaints.                complaints made by employees
                                               in the federal public sector.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


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                                 Fact Sheet
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                                                          February 6, 2009

                   THE PUBLIC SERVICE OF TODAY AND TOMORROW
                   ----------------------------------------

    Over the past 10 years, there has been a remarkable change in the face of
Canada's public service. Our compensation packages are designed to attract and
retain the men and women needed to maintain a qualified and vibrant workforce.
    Today's public service provides women and men with equal access to all
positions and identical wages within the same groups and levels.
    The government recognizes that work-life balance is important to the
workforce; women and men have equal access to a full range of family-friendly
benefits.

    - 1 full year parental leave at 93% of the employee's salary
    - 5 paid days of leave for family-related reasons
    - up to 5 years of unpaid leave for the care and nurturing of children

    Of note are the important strides women have made, and continue to make,
in our workforce. The so called "wage gap" between wages for men and women in
the public service decreased by 5.7% since 1999. Today, women in the Core
Public Administration make on average almost 90% of men's salaries. Further,
since 1999, women have accessed more top jobs in the public service. Some
groups have seen women representation increase by over 50%.

    - 55.9% of knowledge workers, compared to 46.6% in 1995 (Statistics
      Canada May 2008)
    - 41% of senior and executive ranks, compared to 26% in 1998-1999
    - 50.1% of the economist group, compared to 36.8% in 1998-1999
    - 43.3% of the commerce officer group, compared to 33.1% in 1998-1999

    To set the stage for the public service of tomorrow, the Government of
Canada is determined to ensure that women and men continue to benefit from
quality working conditions.
    




For further information:

For further information: Christine Csversko, Director of Communications,
Office of the President of the Treasury Board, (613) 957-2666; Robert
Makichuk, Chief, Media Relations, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, (613)
957-2391; IF THERE IS A DISCREPANCY BETWEEN ANY PRINTED VERSION AND THE
ELECTRONIC VERSION OF THIS NEWS RELEASE, THE ELECTRONIC VERSION WILL PREVAIL;
TTY (Telecommunications device for the hearing impaired) - (613) 957-9090.
This news release is available online at: www.tbs-sct.gc.ca.


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