Pay equity in progress 

By Barbara Black

In 1996, the Quebec government passed the Pay Equity Act “to redress differences in compensation due to systemic gender discrimination suffered by persons who occupy positions in predominantly female job classes.”

A pay equity committee has been working to identify “female-dominated” and “male-dominated” job classes at Concordia, and a means of determining their proper value.

A “job class” comprises jobs with similar responsibilities, qualifications, and maximum attainable compensation.

Director of Compensation Tchad Lafleur, who heads the project, explained that for this exercise, the actual job title is irrelevant; it’s what the job requires and pays that determine the appropriate class.

Separating female-dominated from male-dominated job classes involves looking at all the jobs covered by the support staff union (CUSSU), the professionals (CUPEU), and non-unionized employees, including ACUMAE members and casual employees.

While all the jobs are being analyzed, only the employees in female-dominated job classes that are underpaid to due systemic gender discrimination when compared to male-dominated job classes of similar value will see a change in compensation. The salaries of those in male-dominated job classes will be untouched.

The adjustments to the salaries affected will be made retroactively to Nov. 21, 2001, in order to comply with the Pay Equity Act. The adjustments will be spread in equal amounts over five years, plus interest.

By the second week of February, in accordance with the requirements of the law, a list of the female-dominated and male-dominated job classes will be made public on the Pay Equity website ( and bulletin boards across the university. Employees associated with those job classes will be invited to request more information or make observations to the pay equity committee.

Lafleur, who has worked on this issue at other institutions, said the project is expected to take at least another year.

The committee will explain their work at information meetings for each group starting Jan. 23. Affected employees will be able to attend the meetings without loss of pay. For information, consult the website next week.


Concordia University