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Canadian Women Receive Retribution for Pay Inequality

The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decided that public servants in female-dominated job categories deserve compensation for years of unequal pay.

In a 14-year legal battle involving 200,000 present and former female civil servants, the complainants argued that female-dominated occupations in civil service, from hospital workers to secretaries, were paid less than comparable jobs held by men.

The tribunal held that the workers were entitled to retroactive payment in an amount to be negotiated. The public service union said about $1.33 billion is owed, while the Treasury Board offered a settlement of $870 million. Individual complainants are expected to receive between $10,000 and $20,000 each.

The dispute has its roots in the Canadian Human Rights Act of 1977, which requires that men and women doing comparable work be paid the same wages. Public Service Alliance of Canada President Daryl Bean called the decision “a historic victory for working women.”

Sources:

AP - July 30, 1998