Pay Equity Emptied of Meaning: "Withdraw the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act." Declare Governor General Award Recipients and Women's Rights Experts

    OTTAWA, Feb. 27 /CNW Telbec/ - 12 recipients of the Governor General's
Award in Commemoration of the Person's Case and more than ninety experts on
human rights law and women's rights have signed a letter calling on Prime
Minister Harper to withdraw the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act. The
PSEC Act was introduced as part of Budget 2009.
    The proposed legislation empties the right to pay equity of any meaning,
say legal scholars and women's rights specialists from across Canada. By
permitting the evaluation of pay for male and female dominated jobs to take
into account that male-dominated jobs are valued more highly in the market,
this legislation will re-inject sex discrimination into federal public sector
pay practices rather than eliminating it.
    The processes set out in the Act for seeking "equitable compensation" are
also fundamentally flawed. The legislation makes "equitable compensation" for
women federal public servants a matter to be negotiated between employers and
unions alongside and at the same time as other collective bargaining issues.
The effect is to make pay equity no longer a human right of women, but a
benefit or privilege which may be bargained successfully, or not. The
legislation does not reflect commitments that Canada has made to women in
international human rights law or the Charter.

    The letter to the Prime Minister says:

        As Canadians who have contributed many years of work to improving the
        lives of women, we are angered when the Government of Canada moves
        backwards on the rights of women.

        We wish to be proud of Canada, but frankly, we are ashamed. We are
        aware of other countries in the world, with far fewer resources than
        Canada, who are moving forward on women's human rights, while we are
        slipping backwards. We urge you to reverse your course.

    Governor General Award Recipients and women's rights experts from across
Canada call on Stephen Harper to withdraw the Public Sector Equitable
Compensation Act, which was introduced as a part of Budget 2009. See full text
of the letter:

For further information:

For further information: Mary Cornish, (416) 576-3851; Shelagh Day,
(604) 872-0750; Margot Young, (604) 822-9685;

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