November 17, 2011
PSAC wins Canada Post pay equity case at the Supreme Court of Canada
The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favour of PSAC today in a pay equity case involving women at Canada Post that was originally filed 28 years ago.
The union first filed a complaint over unequal pay in 1983. In October 2005, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal upheld PSAC's pay equity complaint against Canada Post and awarded 50 per cent of the wage gap in damages. Since then, the corporation has used every possible legal avenue to have the Tribunal’s decision overturned.
- Canada Post pay equity decision: what happens now?
- Federal Court of Appeal Decision: issued February 22, 2010
After hearing arguments today from PSAC, Canada Post and the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the Supreme Court upheld the original decision of the Tribunal, reinstating the damages that had been awarded to PSAC’s members. In a rare move, this decision was released directly from the Supreme Court bench by Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin, speaking on behalf of a unanimous court.
Ginette Chartrand was one of the women who filed the original case against Canada Post in 1983. Speaking from the Supreme Court, she reflected on today’s victory:
“I attended all of the hearings in the last few years. We believed in our case. But we did not expect a decision so quickly. I cried.”
Hélène Arbique shared similar sentiments.
“At first was hard to believe. Then the euphoria set in – we won after a 30 year battle.”
Anyone who worked as a CR at Canada Post between 1982 and 2002 will now be eligible to receive pay equity payments.
“Today we celebrate a hard-won victory for equality,” said Patty Ducharme, National Executive Vice-President of PSAC. “But the fact that this took 28 years is completely unacceptable. Canada needs a proactive pay equity law that ensures that women won’t have to wait decades to be compensated for the value of their work.”
PSAC will now push Canada Post to issue payments as soon as possible. We will provide more information as details become available.
Date Modified : 2011/12/12