The ongoing dispute between postal workers and Canada Post highlights the need for justice on pay equity for all workers in this country.
Pay equity has been law since the Employment Equity Act was first enacted in 1986, but it has never been enforceable without decades of legal battles.
Canada Post is a serial offender on pay equity. They fought the PSAC’s pay equity claim all the way to the Supreme Court and managed to delay justice for 28 years. Many women who were entitled to equal pay passed away before they saw justice served. There is an active pay equity complaint against Canada Post from the CPAA that was first filed in 1993 and it is far from being finally resolved. In light of these facts, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers brought these glaring pay equity issues to the bargaining table.
Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers continue to make 28% less than Urban Letter Carriers. There couldn’t be a clearer case of employment inequity than that of the RSMCs at Canada Post, who are predominantly female workers and have inferior working conditions while doing the same job as letter carriers. After ten months of difficult negotiations, CUPW succeeded in establishing a process to finally resolve the pay discrepancies between Urban Letter Carriers and Rural and Suburban Mail Carriers. It will take no more than nineteen months to finish.
This is without question, the best pay equity resolution process ever put together in this country. And it leads to an obvious question: why isn’t every worker entitled to such a process?
Why should postal workers be the only ones able to resolve pay equity disputes in a timely manner?
Canada Post is not the only offender.
No worker should be forced to negotiate with an employer to enforce the law. Pay equity has been the law of the land for decades. It’s time for real enforcement of pay equity for all.