Studies of the Roudy law and other employment equality policies have identified the “symbolic” imperative of these reforms. This means that governments on both the right and the left have passed a series of laws and policies that have been implemented toothlessly through collective bargaining and labour relations at the company level; As a result, few actors are really mobilizing around them and gender inequalities persist (for example. B Mazur 1995; Course 2018). Collective agreements can only be accepted by the employment services if they are accompanied by a report indicating that the employer has entered into serious and fair negotiations on the reduction of pay gaps (Article L. 2242-7 of the Labour Code). The law does not provide for an obligation for ongoing pay equity negotiations or for the parties to have a specific system in place to deal with pay equity issues. Some employers and unions discuss pay equity during collective bargaining; Some do not. Some employers and unions negotiate the terms under which they will deal with pay equity issues; others have not set up a trial. Unions and employers must ensure that changes or agreements reached in the context of collective bargaining do not have a negative impact on pay equity. If the employer is subject to Part II of the Act and the workplace was unionized at the time of its implementation, the Act imposes a common duty on the employer and the existing negotiator to bargain in good faith and to endeavour to agree on aspects of the pay equity process for the collective agreements standardization plan [14 (2) – (3)], including: Santoro, G. 2016. Reflections on the effectiveness of collective bargaining law on gender equality. Social Law 1: 49-57.
Below are some examples of possible approaches to addressing pay equity issues through collective bargaining. This is an illustrative than exhaustive list, and not all of the strategies listed below are or are valid in every unionized workplace. For example, some proposed approaches to negotiating compensation practices and structures may only be relevant in situations where the collective agreement allows for discretionary salary increases by management. The court found that the defence of the strength of bargaining cannot be used to explain wage gaps until the employer has achieved pay equity for all workers in its company. York Region Board of Education v. CUPE, Local 1734, 1995 CanLII 7202 (ON PEHT)). Below is an illustrative, not necessarily exhaustive, list of the types of information and data that unions and employers may need to compile and exchange or share to assess and address pay equity issues as part of the collective bargaining process. This list can also serve as a reference point to guide the process of obtaining information that a joint laboratory management committee with the authority to deal with pay equity issues could conduct.
Unions can play an important role in reducing the persistent gender pay gap in sectors and organizations where they have bargaining power by increasing pay equity as a topic to be addressed in the collective bargaining process. If a pay equity review has already been conducted and the parties have found differences in compensation between individuals or groups of workers who are of different genders or races/ethnicities and who essentially perform similar work, the parties may specifically negotiate the rates of pay of the persons or classifications concerned. . . .