June 10, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The provincial government is committed to providing financial support to achieve pay equity for five private-sector employee groups, starting in 2010-11. Mary Schryer, minister responsible for the status of women, made this announcement today in the legislative assembly.
The minister announced that the next group of private-sector employees to begin the process toward implementing and achieving pay equity will be human service workers in community residences serving children and adults with significant need.
The government is already working with the private sector by conducting pay job evaluation to result in pay equity for the following groups: child-care workers; home support workers; nursing home workers; and transition home workers.
The provincial government will support these five private-sector groups with pay equity adjustments beginning in the next fiscal year, pending the results of those job evaluation processes.
"The well-founded and evidence-based pay equity processes outlined in our recently introduced Pay Equity Act are being followed with these groups," Schryer said. "By focusing on these groups, we have prioritized female-dominated occupations that take care of the most vulnerable in our society - our children, our elderly, our adults with significant needs, and victims of violence."
The Pay Equity Act, given first reading last week, will take effect April 1, 2010, and will apply to all parts of the public sector. The legislation was announced exactly 20 years after the first Pay Equity Act (1989) was introduced.
"Our goal is to ensure equal pay for work of equal value," Schryer said. "We are doing this by legislating pay equity throughout the public sector and by working with groups and employers to extend pay equity in the private sector. We will continue to encourage all private-sector employers to examine their wage gaps and to assess whether pay inequities exist. We will continue to explore opportunities to involve the private sector in achieving this goal."
The provincial government is planning an initiative to build on the new Pay Equity Act and the private-sector job evaluations. It will be joining several companies in launching a pilot project called Equality at Work. This project is aimed at ensuring equality in the workplace by implementing strategies such as assessments of pay inequities.
"Working towards achieving pay equity and reducing the wage gap in this province will enable New Brunswick to continue its progress toward greater self-sufficiency," Schryer said. "Achieving pay equity benefits our entire province, but it can only be achieved if everyone takes part."
MEDIA CONTACT: Elizabeth Joubert, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-3207.