Ronald Boisrond | CUPE Communications

In 2016, we celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Quebec’s Pay Equity Act, which requires all employers with 10 or more employees to implement a pay equity plan.

The Act was amended in 2009 by Jean Charest’s Liberal Government. This reform was contested in court by a coalition of trade unions, with CUPE playing a major role.

The Superior Court of Quebec declared several provisions of the Act of 2009 unconstitutional, including one that ruled out the retroactivity of pay equity maintenance payments.

Although the Quebec Government appealed this decision, on October 12, 2016, the Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Superior Court.

The Quebec Government was given 60 days to refer the case to the Supreme Court of Canada. Just a few hours before the deadline, Philippe Couillard’s Liberal government decided to refer the case to the highest court in the land, much to the disappointment of CUPE Quebec.

At the time of writing, the Supreme Court has not yet agreed to hear the case. But, if it does, CUPE Quebec will be at the heart of this battle for women’s equity.

Meanwhile, the Job Evaluation Branch continue their work on hundreds of files that enable thousands of women in Quebec to obtain significant wage adjustments, whether in the public sector, including health and education, or elsewhere. They will also strive to ensure that the Pay Equity Act remains and becomes even stronger.