March 3, 2010
EDMUNDSTON (CNB) - A public forum on human rights and pay equity will be held by the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission on Monday, March 15, in Edmundston.
The forum will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Madawaska Historical Museum, 165 Hébert Blvd. More information is online.
"Pay equity is a human rights issue," said Gordon L. Porter, commission chair. "With the passage of the Pay Equity Act for the public service, this forum will be a great opportunity to deepen our understanding of the human rights roots of pay equity and the challenges that pay equity presents to us."
The forum will explore pay equity and its challenges through a human rights lens. Three expert panelists have been confirmed so far: Norma Dubé, Anne Hébert and Johanne Perron. A discussion period will follow the panel presentations.
Norma Dubé is the assistant deputy minister for the Women's Issues Branch in the Executive Council Office. The mandate of the branch centres on combatting violence against women, fostering economic security for women and eliminating discrimination against women.
Anne Hébert, a lawyer and businesswoman, is the executive director of the Conseil économique du Nouveau-Brunswick (CÉNB). The CÉNB is dedicated to the economic development of the francophone business community in New Brunswick.
Johanne Perron is the executive director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity. The coalition seeks to extend pay equity to the private sector following the adoption of the Pay Equity Act. Perron is involved in various social justice and women's issues apart from pay equity.
The Pay Equity Act came into force in June 2009. As defined in the act, pay equity means: "a compensation practice that is based primarily on the relative value of the work performed, irrespective of the gender of employees, and includes the requirement that the employer not establish or maintain a difference between the pay paid to male and female employees who are performing work of equal or comparable value."
The commission is the government agency that administers the Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on 14 personal characteristics in employment, housing, public services, certain associations and publicity.
MEDIA CONTACT: Francis Young, human rights officer, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, 506-453-2308.