Canadian Women at Work
Their Situation, Their Union Status, and the Influence of the Public Sector

Publisher:  National Union of Provincial Government Employees
Year Published:  1989
Pages:  32pp   Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX3954

After a sober discussion of women's place in the workforce, this document by the National Union of Provincial Government Employees concludes that the public sector union is the country's greatest promoter of employment equity.

It a convincing argument, supported by occasionally startling salary surveys and general employment studies. The paper dispenses with traditional, and false, explanations for the lower employment status of women, and confronts "tangible" issues -- childcare, maternity and parental leave, the under-valuing of work which is traditionally "women's work", and the occupational segregation of women -- issues for which government initiatives are labelled "weak and ineffective" and even "dismal". The public does not escape blame, particularly for its poor understanding of the pressing need for a better childcare system and the improvement of the employment status of women.

The document also compares studies which look at the future employment picture for women, including one which predicts "very negative" consequences for women's employment arising out of the Free Trade Deal.
Ultimately, the document points to the public sector as an increasingly important source of stable, unionized work for Canadian women. Statistics back up the conclusion that unions have had "a very positive influence on women's wages, and on the wage-gap between men and women".

Although intended to address the interests of the members of NUPGE who are women, some of the information the document contains will be of wider interest to students of Employment Equity. What's more, the document is free, if ordered in limited numbers.

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