CUPE2424/Carleton University Pay Equity Project FAQ

NOTE: These FAQs will be updated as necessary. Click here for a PDF of this information.

Compliance with the Ontario Pay Equity Act (PEA) requires that pay equity plans be maintained. The original deemed approved Pay Equity Plan that was signed by the parties in 1991 has not been maintained, in part, because the methodology used to compare female and male job classes at that time, did not comply with the process set out in the PEA. The two wages lines (R – Regular and PE – Pay Equity) were meant to be an interim measure to adequately compensate female job classes and satisfy pay equity requirements until the parties could reach agreement on a pay equity compliant gender neutral job evaluation tool that would be used to compare all jobs and establish a single wage-line.
The parties have made numerous attempts over the last 30 years to reach agreement on a gender-neutral job evaluation tool and to address problems with the existing compensation system in order to facilitate pay equity maintenance, efforts which thus far have been unsuccessful.
The parties signed a Terms of Reference (ToR) in 2014 that governs the most recent attempt to evaluate jobs which allowed bargaining unit positions to be rated separately by the Union and the University, each in isolation of the other. The ToR stated that disputes on ratings would be referred to arbitration where consensus could not be reached by the parties.

The Union and University’s respective ratings revealed different rating determinations across most of the jobs. The ultimate remedy to settle disagreements in arbitration would be costly and time-consuming for both parties and we have not been able to agree on a process to effectively reconcile the significant rating disparities.

The union met with the employer in early 2020, and in subsequent meetings, to address significant concerns with the viability of the project to either achieve Pay Equity or to develop a single wage-line that would adequately and fairly evaluate and compensate L2424 jobs.

The current pay equity exercise will not determine if everybody’s position and pay should be reclassified up, or down. That is what would be called “internal equity” which would have to be negotiated between the Union and University, and ratified by members.
A Pay Equity exercise requires that female job classes be compared to male job classes of similar value. Only female classes, if identified as undervalued compared to male job classes, can receive wage adjustments, and only upwards. No jobs can go down as a result of Pay Equity. No ratification is required by members. The Pay Equity Act governs the process.

In an Internal Equity exercise, all jobs are evaluated to establish a new overall hierarchy. Usually, an internal equity exercise results in some job rates going up, some staying the same, and some jobs may go down. Internal equity must be negotiated between the parties then ratified by members before it can be implemented. This is a collective bargaining matter.

The Union strongly believes that before agreeing to a Pay Equity analysis, or a process that has the potential to change compensation rates for L2424 members, the methodology must be rigorous and credible.

The ongoing pandemic has disrupted the process to an extent and discussions between the University and Union have been limited over the last year, but the parties have scheduled upcoming meetings to continue discussions.

The Union and University continue to work toward a process to address Pay Equity and compensation for L2424 that is valid, reliable, transparent, and understood by members. We are committed to finding a resolution to this longstanding issue.



Updated: May 5 2021