On April 16, 2014 thousands of men and women are joining across Ontario to mark the second annual Equal Pay Day. April 16 is the point during the New Year that the average woman in Ontario must work in order to earn the same pay that a man in a similar role earns by the end of year before.
This year, following years of work from SEIU Healthcare, the Equal Pay Coalition and other important community organizers the government of Ontario has become the first Canadian governmental body to formally recognize Equal Pay Day! Click here to listen to Ontario’s Minister of Labour formally recognizing Equal Pay Day.
Unfortunately, the 2014 Equal Pay Day is later than last year because the gender pay gap increased from 3% to 31%. Instead of closing the gender gap, we’re actually widening it at an alarming rate. On average, men’s annual earnings in Ontario went up by $200 and women’s went down by $1400. For older women, it means working 14 more years after age 65 to get what men earn by age 65. Women of colour, aboriginal women and women with disabilities face even larger gaps.
Equal Pay Days are held around the world to recognize the full value of women’s work and their contribution to local economies and to organize action on many fronts to close the gap.
Ontarians and employers need to mark this year’s Equal Pay Day by starting a conversation on the gender pay gap. We need to level the playing field. For example, greater access to affordable childcare and employment practices which recognize the full value of women’s work and use 100% of the talent in our province. Closing the gender pay gap should be an economic and human rights priority.
Together, we can close the wage gap. Here’s how you can help:
• Sign SEIU’s petition and visit http://www.equalpaycoalition.org to sign their declaration
• Share your stories on Twitter and Facebook using #EqualPayDay
• Organize a Pay Equity bake sale! Women pay 69 cents (or 31% less!) for a baked good that costs $1 for a man