All across Ontario, workers in various industries and work environments are experiencing wage disparity. 

While unions play a crucial role in advocating for workers' rights, we must acknowledge that pay disparities can still persist within unionized settings. For example, public and catholic school boards across districts tend to pay workers varying rates despite the same qualifications and duties for a role. In some communities, workers doing the same job only a few minutes drive away experience a wage disparity up to as much as $2/hour. As a result, some COPE members are working 2-3 jobs to make ends meet.

Understanding Pay Equity Issues in Union Settings:

  • Gender Disparities: Despite the efforts to achieve gender equality in the workplace, pay gaps between men and women persist even in unionized settings. Factors such as occupational segregation, biased job evaluations, and negotiation patterns contribute to these disparities.
  • Racial and Ethnic Inequities: Pay inequities are not limited to gender alone. Racial and ethnic disparities also exist within unions, with racialized workers often experiencing lower wages and limited opportunities for career advancement compared to their white counterparts.
  • Skill-based Pay Discrepancies: Another common issue is the disparity in compensation based on skill levels. Certain job classifications or skill sets may be undervalued, resulting in lower wages for workers in those roles, even if their contributions are equally valuable to the organization.

Not to mention that intersectionality across the above identities still play a large role in the persisting issue of wage disparity. Statistics Canada shows us that although we are making significant progress on wage disparity, there is still work to be done. 

As a union representing more than 6,000 office professionals, COPE Ontario plays a vital role in creating fair and inclusive workplaces for all members.

Take action today:

  1. Email Doug Ford and tell him that workers deserve equal pay for equal work.
  2. Join the COPE Ontario Political Action Committee and help lead the fight for change.
  3. Spread the word! Tell your friends, family, and community members about how wage disparity impacts workers in healthcare, education, finance, and more.

    Together, we can end wage disparity.


Learn more about the Pay Equity in Ontario. 


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