Saturday, February 14, 2009

Politically Correct Speak: Women's Pay Equity

Just what the heck is "Pay Equity" for women? I hear this all the time. The Liberal and NDP benches are always claiming Harper and the Conservatives are setting back women's pay equity issues. I ran across this in a Toronto Star article today:

In this case, the Conservative attack on pay equity – the idea that men and women should be paid equally for work of equal value – provides the most telling example. Bill C-10 would end the right of federal civil servants to take pay equity complaints to the federal human rights commission. Instead, such issues would have to be dealt with as part of the normal bargaining process between union and management.

And in determining whether wage rates for men and women were fair, any arbitrator would have to take "market forces" into account.

The problem with this is twofold. First, as a federal task force wrote five years ago, collective bargaining involves tradeoffs. But a woman's constitutionally protected right to be paid fairly is hardly something that should be traded away for an extra coffee break.

Equally important is the reference to market forces. Toronto lawyer Mary Cornish points out that pay equity was designed specifically to rectify a failure in the market that permitted systemic wage discrimination against women. To turn around and subordinate equity to this same market is to negate the entire exercise.

She notes that when former Ontario premier Mike Harris made a similar attack on provincial pay equity, the courts slapped him down.

I wish they could provide specific examples of where this inequity takes place? I don't know what they mean. As far as I can tell some number cruncher came up with the stat that for average salaries, women's are 70% of men's. There are so many factors that go into that, it's meaningless to cite it. I'm sure if they did stats they could find out left handers make or less than right handers. But still they are trying silly social engineering, to bring up women's numbers. It's a fake issue. I've never met a woman who has felt they make less because they are female. There's no secret cabal of evil white men who decide that women will make less than men.

Why are we wasting time with this?

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