Many collective agreements have clauses that protect workers from discrimination and unfairness in the workplace. But when it comes to wages, discrimination and unfairness can be more difficult to address directly. This can result in unjust wage differences, occupational segregation, low wages and certain groups facing barriers to equal pay.

To fight for fair pay, we must first recognize:

  • Equity-deserving groups face systemic barriers to fair pay (for example, women, Indigenous, Black and racialized workers, workers with disabilities, gender diverse and 2SLGBTQI+ workers).
  • Some sectors and jobs are undervalued due to sexism, racism, ableism and other forms of discrimination.
  • Extreme differences between pay grades hurt the lowest paid workers most.
  • Unions should leverage the power of their members to reduce pay inequities.

CUPE job evaluation specialists can help analyze your wage structure and develop solutions for identified wage inequities.

What is job evaluation?

Job evaluation is one way to address wage inequities. It’s a method to measure and compare different jobs. It can realign wages and get rid of unfair gaps in pay structures. When the union and the employer work together on this process, it’s called joint job evaluation. A good job evaluation program can:

  • Provide a clear framework to measure and compare different types of jobs.
  • Identify and eliminate wage inequities in a bargaining unit (for example, through pay equity or internal equity).
  • Evaluate new or changed jobs, and deal with reclassification or grievances.
  • Establish a fair and easy-to-understand wage and salary structure.

Learn more about CUPE’s job evaluation program.

Other approaches

Job evaluation isn’t always the right solution. CUPE job evaluation specialists can support your local with other ways to achieve decent, equitable wages:

  • Bargaining flat rate increases to minimize the pay gap between low- and high-income earners.
  • Removing steps from a wage schedule to help workers reach their full job rate faster.
  • Bargaining wage parity across different workplaces or in comparison to the local labour market.

When should you contact CUPE Job Evaluation?

If your local faces any of the following issues, reach out:

  • An unfair salary system.
  • Insufficient or nonexistent job descriptions.
  • Improper job measurement or a one-sided program controlled by the employer.
  • Ineffective procedures for handling job reclassification and grievances.
  • No access to information about an existing pay equity or job evaluation program.
  • No procedure for updating and maintaining the job evaluation program.

For help attaining fair wages or for more information about job evaluation, ask your national representative to contact the CUPE job evaluation specialist for your region.