October 25, 2011
Separate employers pay equity complaint: unsettled after nine years
Nine years after PSAC first filed a pay equity complaint against 28 government agencies, crown corporations and institutions, the issue is unresolved.
PSAC filed the complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) against the separate employers in May, 2002.
But the union asked the commission to hold the complaint in abeyance while its pay equity human rights charter challenge worked its way through the courts.
The union withdrew its charter challenge in the wake of unfavourable court decisions in other pay equity cases in September 2008.
Also in November 2008, the PSAC filed a formal request with the commission to proceed with the pay equity complaint against 28 separate employers.
But the March 2009 Budget Implementation Act, 2009 (BIA) threw a wrench into the works.
The BIA included the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act (PSECA), a new pay equity regime for Treasury Board and separate agency employees.
The PSECA is not yet in force, but the BIA gave all outstanding pay equity complaints before the CHRC to the Public Service Labour Relations Board (PSLRB).
But the CHRC will continue to deal with pay equity complaints filed against employers covered by the the Canada Labour Code, because the PSECA does not affect the Canada Labour Code.
In October 2009, in response to a formal request from the CHRC, PSAC provided a detailed submission to ask the CHRC to re-activate the investigation of the Canada Labour Code employers.
The CHRC notified the union on January 5, 2011 that complaints filed against the seven employers covered by the PSECA have been transferred to the PSLRB. The CHRC will continue to deal with complaints filed against separate employers covered by the Canada Labour Code.
The union's lawyers are assessing all separate employers complaints to see if several recent decisions from the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the Federal Court of Canada affect the union's chances of success.
Allegations made against some of the employers named in the original complaint may no longer be viable and may be withdrawn.
Here is a list of which legislation covers the 24 remaining separate agency employers.
(Complaint before the PSLRB)
|Canada Labour Code
(Complaint before the CHRC)
Date Modified : 2011/10/25