On October 29th the Honourable Lucienne Robillard, president of the Treasury Board, announced that the government and the Public Service Alliance of Canada had reached an agreement on the implementation of the Human Rights Tribunal pay equity decision. The work traditionally performed by women in the public service will finally be fairly compensated.
The resolution of this outstanding dispute has been a top priority since I have been in Parliament, and I am both happy and relieved that it has been resolved. I have worked with five different ministers to encourage them to settle the issue. The government has also promised to review the pay equity provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act for clarity, so that protracted disputes can be avoided in the future.
This agreement means that current and former employees in the CR, EU, HS, LS, ST and DA-CON groups will be entitled to receive wage and benefit adjustment payments back to 1985. Cheques will begin to be issued in four to six months to approximately 230,000 people, for a total of between $3.3 and $3.6 billion. It should be noted that the government has already set aside money to pay for this settlement and that this will not have a negative effect on our budget priorities.
The Treasury Board has set up a 1-800 number to field inquiries from current and former employees who think that they may be entitled to receive part of the settlement. Unfortunately at the time of printing, that number was not available pending the Human Rights Tribunal's approval of the agreement. However, my office we will be happy to provide you with the number when it becomes available.