For Immediate Release
July 19, 2022
NL NDP Critic for Women and Gender Equality and MHA for Torngat Mountains Lela Evans is deeply concerned that pay equity is not a serious priority for this government. The NL Pay Equity Committee has only met twice in 2022. Only twice in total since Andrew Furey became Premier.
Pay equity is equal pay for work of equal or comparable value. It requires comparing jobs typically done by women with different jobs typically done by men. For 40 years successive Liberal and Tory governments have refused to introduce solutions like pay equity legislation and create a more balanced economy. Newfoundland and Labrador is the only Atlantic province remaining without this legislation; the other three provinces introduced their legislation as early as 1980.
“When asked about pay equity legislation in the House of Assembly, Minister Parsons continuously said that work was ongoing, and has been ongoing for 40 years,” said Evans. “I find that hard to believe. If implementing solutions to pay gaps was a serious priority for this government, shouldn’t this committee have met regularly? Why are we the only Atlantic province without pay equity legislation?”
In May 2022, Minister Parsons defended her government’s poor performance on advancing pay equity by saying how pay equity legislation would not help as much as programs like $10 a day childcare. Evans says childcare is very important but it is not a substitute for pay equity, to imply so is an offense to all women and non-binary people who earn less than men.
“Early childhood educators in this province, of which 97% identify as women, do not earn a living wage,” said Evans. “Yet we expect them to care for and educate our children through their development years,” Evans said today. “The Minister is satisfied to say that the Liberal childcare program balances the income scale. We disagree. Pay equity legislation needs to be in place so all women and non-binary people in this province can be paid fairly, not just those with children.”
“If this Liberal government wants to make Newfoundland and Labrador a leading province, they must take action and legislate pay equity,” said Evans. “In a post pandemic society, we cannot continue with status quo. Women and non-binary people in this province deserve equity.”
NDP Caucus Office, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6 ˑ 709-729-0270 ˑ email@example.com