At 2:45pm this afternoon, Critic for the Status of Women Gerry Rogers introduced a motion to mark International Women’s Day. The NDP Caucus is looking for support from other members of the House of Assembly for a Private Member’s Motion that would move the province closer to a financially equitable society.

“Pay equity means equal pay for work of equal value,” which they explain “is a different concept from equal pay for equal work. It is a process that corrects discrimination in compensation practices to adjust the wages of employees in traditionally female jobs so that they are at least equal to the wages of employees in traditionally male-dominated job classes, when they are found to be comparable in value based on skills/education needed, effort required, responsibility, and working conditions.”

The Motion:

Whereas the federal government has introduced pay equity legislation in the public sector;

Whereas pay equity has been proven to not be universally achieved by collective bargaining alone;

Whereas lack of pay equity disproportionately affects women, and women in Newfoundland and Labrador earn on average 66% of the wages of their male counterparts;

Whereas Government needs to give leadership on this issue of fairness to women. Be it resolved that the House of Assembly urge Government to start the process to enact pay equity legislation in the province.

Both of the other parties said they will support the motion.

Motion Unanimously Supported

“The unanimous support for an NDP motion on pay equity is an excellent way for the House of Assembly to observe International Women’s Day,” Rogers said. “I am happy and proud to have the support of all my colleagues on this very important issue on this very important day. Now we will be pushing government to commit to a concrete plan and timeline so the women of Newfoundland and Labrador know this important work will happen. We have taken a significant step to reducing the wage gap in this province, and I look forward to the day when pay equity legislation is introduced in this House.”


Rogers also asked about intimate partner violence, “which is increasingly encroaching on workplaces,” noting that unions and women’s groups are working with governments across the country to establish paid domestic violence leave, which would allow women the time they need to deal with police, lawyers, or find a new place to live without the additional fear of losing their jobs.

“Will the Minister of Service NL commit to supporting legislation that allows for paid domestic violence leave?” she asked.

St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi MHA Lorraine Michael highlighted the need for a public, affordable and accessible child care program, then asked government about minimum wage. “Women hold the majority of precarious, contract and minimum wage jobs. Our province has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country and did not keep up with inflation from 2010 to 2015,” said Michael.

“On International Women’s Day, I ask the Premier, whatever the results of the minimum wage consultations, will he commit to a ‘catch-up’ of workers’ purchasing power since 2010 as the base for indexation?”