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Montra006c, Friday, January 9, 2004 The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) welcomes the Superior Court judgement invalidating Chapter IX of the Pay Equity Act. In her decision, Judge Carole Julien declared this section of the Act, which exempted several employers from the obligations it sets out, to be unconstitutional and discriminatory. This decision will have positive impacts on thousands of women throughout Quebec. We can now set about building real pay equity programs, said Annick Desjardins, CUPE representative.

When the Act was adopted, a number of employers claimed that they had already introduced a pay equity or relativity program. Chapter IX permitted an exemption for programs carried out in 1996 or before, and the Commission dq0075it 0073alariale readily accepted these maladjusted or even fictitious programs. Union organizations had been excluded from the preparation of these programs and, what is more, they were not permitted to contest the Commissions decisions. Ten years ago, well aware that it could serve as a loophole for employers, CUPE had already begun taking steps to contest this chapter of the Act through parliamentary committees.

The Government now has six months to respond and amend the Act. Various scenarios are possible but it is most likely that dozens of public, para-public and private employers will be forced to do their duty.

For CUPE, this decision directly affects employees of the capital, the City of Baie-Comeau, Universit 0064e Montra006c, Universit 004caval, Universit 0064e Sherbrooke and several components of Universit 0064u Qub0065c. All CUPE members who work for the Government of Qub0065c are also implicated in this decision.

With close to 100,000 members in Qub0065c, CUPE is active in several sectors of activity including health and social services, education, universities, municipalities, hydroelectricity, urban and air transportation,

This press release and other information are posted on the Internet at scfp.qc.ca