Q1: Do companies need to set up joint employer/union committees to do pay equity?
A1: No. The use of pay equity committees is not required by law. If an employer and union choose to create a committee, they are free to do so. The Pay Equity Office has educational materials with practical tips for forming and operating pay equity committees that employers or unions can access online.
Q2: Do agreements concerning pay equity have to be ratified by the union?
A2: No. There is no requirement in the Act for union ratification. The union constitution may address this issue.
Q3: Can pay equity be negotiated at the same time as regular collective agreements?
A3: There is no requirement in the Act for ongoing pay equity negotiations or for the parties to have a particular system in place to deal with pay equity matters. Some employers and unions discuss pay equity during collective bargaining; some do not. Some employers and unions negotiate terms under which they will deal with pay equity issues; others have no process in place. Unions and employers must ensure that any changes or agreements reached in collective bargaining do not have adverse pay equity consequences.
Q4: What is the impact of pay equity adjustments on collective agreements?
A4: The Act indicates that pay equity prevails over all relevant collective agreements. Any adjustments to rates of pay are incorporated into the relevant collective agreements; this does not require that the collective agreement be renegotiated in order to be effective.