Status of Women

Minister releases wage gap report (03/12/05)

NB 1161

Dec. 5, 2003

DIEPPE (CNB) - The final report of the New Brunswick wage gap round table was released today by Training and Employment Development Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney, Minister responsible for the Status of Women. The report recommends that the government lead a five-year action plan consisting of voluntary measures to address the wage gap in the public and private sectors.

"The wage gap is a very important issue and we have received thoughtful advice from the round table," Blaney said. "I am making the report public so that all New Brunswickers will have the opportunity to understand this issue and to see for themselves the advice the round table has provided."

The report says that addressing the wage gap now will bring important economic benefits to the province, and that it is a matter of social justice and economic good sense.

Along with a five-year action plan, the report recommends that government measure the success of the action plan and that it establish a Wage Gap Advisory Committee to provide advice to the minister during the implementation of the action plan.

In its report, the round table identifies cultural or societal attitudes as key causes of the wage gap. It concludes, "We must succeed in making New Brunswickers so informed on wage gap issues that they will understand what they need to change. Then we must show them how they can do so."

Blaney thanked the members of the round table for the work they have done over the last 15 months. "As you have pointed out, eliminating the wage gap will require more than just a government response. The wage gap is everybody's responsibility," she said. "Many partners have been involved in the round table. Many partners, including business, labour and the community will continue to be involved in the resolution of this problem."

The minister said government would now take the time to look at and fully understand the implications of the advice the round table has provided. "Our sense is that we must listen to our partners as we develop our own response," Blaney said. "We are going to take the time we need to make the right response. How we deal with this issue has major implications for the future."

The report can be found online at: http://www.gnb.ca/0037/report/wagegap-e.pdf.

03/12/05

MEDIA CONTACT: Patricia Hyland, director of communications, Status of Women, 506-444-5267.

03/12/05