Since 2014, March 1st has been recognized by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly as Zero Discrimination Day. The aim of this day is to create a worldwide movement of solidarity to put an end to all forms of discrimination. In the labour movement, several campaigns are underway to promote pay equity in Canada. UCTE, to celebrate this battle that was only the beginning of a long struggle, wants to take the time to remember a victory from the past: UCTE/PSAC obtaining a pay equity settlement with NAV CANADA.

It was only 30 years ago that the federal government passed legislation making it illegal to discriminate against women in the workplace. This discrimination, which is still fresh in our minds, created wage gaps between men and women. The date December 18, 2020 is a landmark date for NAV CANADA employees. This long battle, triggered by the filing of a complaint in 2002, built on the settlement reached with Treasury Board in 1999, and approved by the Canadian Human Rights Commission 18 years later.

Some members of the CR and ST groups who worked at Transport Canada before being transferred to NAV CANADA in November 1996 were no longer eligible for the Treasury Board pay equity adjustment, even though their pay and classification had not yet been adjusted at the time of transfer. Three years later, after several rounds of discussions, UCTE/PSAC filed a complaint alleging that NAV CANADA was not meeting its obligations under the Canadian Human Rights Act by not providing equal pay for work of equal value for jobs held predominantly by women. In the end, all individuals who worked in CR-2, CR-3, CR-4 and CR-5 or CR6 positions, or ST-OCE-3, ST-SCY-1, ST-SCY-2 or ST-SCY-3 positions between November 1, 1996 and June 30, 2011 were eligible for the wage adjustment.

This landmark victory continues UCTE’s ongoing fight for pay equity for all its members. Solidarity!