Montreal, Tuesday, September 25, 2001 – Starting on September 26, Superior Court Judge Carole Julien will begin hearings to decide if the Labour Tribunal has the jurisdiction to hear the appeals filed by women who are the target of a pay equity program that was approved by the Pay Equity Commission, under section nine of the legislation. The applications that the judge will hear were filed by the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CNTU-QFL) and the Centrale des syndicats dm006fcratiques (CSD).
Section nine of the legislation allows employers claiming to have implemented a pay equity or wage relativity program in their company before the legislation was passed to be in compliance with the legislation. The CNTU, CUPE-QFL, and CSD filed several applications to ensure the defense of the rights of thousands of women working in various sectors of the economy, as well as in the public sector.
“The Pay Equity Commission interprets the provisions of this section in such a way as to exclude us as a party, a right which it grants to employers. This is flagrant nonsense. Our applications are aimed at re-establishing women’s rights so that they can have a full and complete defense”, say Claudette Carbonneau, Vice-President of the CNTU, Pierre Dupuis, Vice-President of the QFL, and Claude Faucher, Vice-President of the CSD.
“What is at stake is women’s right to equity. We argue that the legislation cannot have the effect of withholding from women basic rights to justice as well as a fundamental right under the Charter”, say the union spokespersons.
Several recourses were filed before the Superior Court. These hearings are the beginning of a long process whose result could force the Pay Equity Commission to revise the decisions made under section nine of the legislation.
Since these are the first objections to the legislation and its application, the Court decided to group them under subject headings. First of all, it will hear all cases on the right to appeal. Secondly, it will hear cases that do not
respect the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and freedoms. Finally, it will hear cases based on the legislation itself. Judge Carole Julien will hear all the cases.
The hearings with respect to the right to appeal a decision by the Pay Equity Commission will be heard on September 26, 27, and 28.
Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees (QFL)
The complete text of this release can be found on our web site: scfp.qc.ca