Pay equity case pre-trial motions get their first day in Court
On October 27, the Federal Court (Trial Division) started hearing the most recent pre-trial motions in our pay equity claim against a number of separate employers.
The government has been trying to disqualify the union as a party to the claim. At the hearing on the 27th, the Court considered both the Treasury Board’s position and the PSAC’s motions to add the names of members from the affected bargaining units to the Statement of Claim. A decision on these motions likely will not be made until after a second hearing takes place in December.
On December 19th, the Court will consider PSAC’s motion to divide the claim. If the Court agrees, then it would first hear the case as to whether or not the government is required to make the pay equity adjustments. If the Court rules in favour of this part of the union’s claim, the next phase would be to call expert witnesses to bring evidence as to how the calculations should be made and how much members are owed.
A decision on all the motions is not expected until sometime in the new year. Updates on the case will continue to be posted as information becomes available.
The Statement of Claim was filed in November 2000 on behalf of current and former PSAC members working for a number of separate employers. The case has been repeatedly delayed due to government tactics, including a series of unsuccessful legal challenges to have the case dismissed. The separate employers included in the Statement of Claim, all under Part II of the PSSRA, are: the Auditor General, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the Communications Security Establishment, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions, Statistical Survey Operations, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (formerly the Medical Research Council).
A separate complaint to the Canadian Human Rights Commission concerning a much larger number of separate employers is in abeyance pending the outcome of this case.