QUEEN’S PARK – Marit Stiles, Leader of the Official Opposition NDP, marked Equal Pay Day today by holding the Ford Conservatives to account for their continuous targeting of female-dominated industries through wage restraint legislation and privatization.
“Every woman worker should earn as much as their male counterparts,” Stiles said. “Yet the Ford Conservatives’ for-profit health scheme will only make things worse. It will cost women more in healthcare fees and lead to upselling. Women who are healthcare workers are going to earn even less, as research shows privatizing public services leads to lower wages.”
Equal Pay Day is recognized across the world to raise awareness of the gender pay gap, noting how many months into 2023 the average woman must work to catch up to what the average man earned in 2022. Women across Ontario are taking action to call on the Ford government to enact pay transparency, rebuild public services, and stop targeting female-dominated industries. Disabled women earn 56 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, BIPOC women 60 cents, and immigrant women 55 cents.
NDP Critic for Women's Social and Economic Opportunity, MPP Jill Andrew (Toronto – St. Paul’s) followed Stiles’ question to ask whether this government will end their appeal of the courts’ decision to strike down the Ford Conservatives’ wage-restraining legislation Bill 124, and implement pay transparency immediately.
“This Conservative government widened the gender wage gap with Bill 124, – their attack against women and other public sector workers,” said Andrew. “Courts ruled it illegal and unconstitutional. Yet this Premier still appealed – wasting more public money – during an affordability crisis to bankroll his agenda. This weekend, nurses won a re-opener on Bill 124 which awarded hospital nurses – predominantly women – back-pay to recover some lost wages. This is a step forward. But will the Premier listen to the courts this time?”
Stiles, Andrew, and the Ontario NDP are standing strong with workers across the province and the hard-working women of the Equal Pay Coalition to demand the Ford Conservatives to roll back harmful legislation, stop targeting women workers, pay healthcare workers what they are owed, and enact pay transparency.