Yesterday the House of Commons Special Committee on Pay Equity released its report titled “Time to Act,” which consists of thirty-one recommendations for addressing issues of pay equity on a federal level. After reviewing the report, we can say that ACFO is impressed with the conclusions of the committee.

The report’s primary recommendation is for a move away from a complaints-based model in the federal jurisdiction that puts undue burdens on both employee and employer, to a proactive model similar to the models in place for Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba provincial employees. Additionally, the report calls for the repeal of the regressive Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act of 2009. ACFO is very pleased that the report also acknowledges the importance of respecting the separation of pay equity from the collective bargaining process.

As you may remember, Executive Vice-President Dany Richard and representatives from the ACFO Labour Relations team appeared before the committee in April. ACFO is currently one of the only unions with an active pay equity complaint before the PSLREB and we were asked to provide our recommendations for a more proactive pay equity model for the federal public sector.

We are gratified to find that the report makes special note of the committee’s interest in ACFO’s unique recommendation to incorporate alternative dispute resolution services into a new pay equity model to reduce conflicts and reduce the time needed to resolve pay equity disputes. In fact, the report addresses nearly all of our recommendations.

The full report can be read here. Overall we see this report as an incredibly positive step going forward and we congratulate the committee on their excellent work on this issue, especially MP Sheri Benson for tabling the motion that lead to the creation of the special committee. We look forward to seeing the government implement these recommendations as soon as practicable.