Our current health crisis is putting the spotlight on social and economic inequalities throughout the world, and gender inequalities are also in evidence.
On the provincial APTS executive committee, Mélanie Bernier is our national bargaining and pay equity co-officer. In the current public-sector contract talks with the Treasury Board, she’s right there in the thick of the discussions.
Being a union activist is about exercising leadership and influence. But because of sexist socialization, too many women underestimate their ability to take on the decision-making, mobilizing and representation roles that are part and parcel of union responsibilities.
A recent study reveals a 23% pay discrepancy between personnel in the public service (i.e., the civil service, education, and health and social services), 72% of whom are women, and personnel in Crown corporations like Hydro-Québec, Loto-Québec and the Société des alcools du Québec, a majority of whom are men.
The kind of in-depth reform of the Labour Standards Act that women’s groups and unions had been hoping for didn’t happen. Still, there are a number of changes that constitute progress for women who aren’t protected by a collective agreement , as well as for APTS members.