ETFO: Freezing Public Sector Wages Will Only Worsen Gender Pay Gap

Media Release – April 16, 2014

Freezing public sector wages or cutting public services in Ontario will add to the worsening gender pay gap in Ontario, according to the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO).

“The focus by some of Ontario’s political parties on freezing public sector salaries and reducing benefits will affect a larger percentage of women,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. A high percentage of workers employed in public services are women.

Ontario’s pay gap between men and women got worse between 2010 and 2011, growing from 28% to 31%, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.

“By failing to address pay equity, we are severely limiting the ability of the female workforce to contribute to the economic health and prosperity of the province.”

“For those truly committed to equity, a key way to lessen the gap is through unionization. Union positions lead to better wages, greater access to full-time positions, and more secure and greater part-time hours,” added Hammond.

The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals. It recently released Building Better Schools, ETFO’s education agenda for building a better learning environment for all students at