Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Postal workers lose "pay equity" award

Finally - after 25 years - a Federal Court overturned a Canada Human Rights Commission (HRC) decision that made a $150 million "pay equity" award to Canada Post employees. The original claim for $300 million was launched at the HRC in Sept 1983 by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), which represented clerical workers at Canada Post, saying it paid lower wages to the mostly female workers of its clerical section, than to the mostly male workers in its operations section in Oct 1981. A favorable decision was rendered on 07 Oct 2005 but cut the award by 50% to $150 million.

In his judgment, Justice Michael Kelen had harsh words for the tribunal, saying there was little evidence of wage discrimination based on gender. He said the tribunal "unreasonably ignored the factual reality" that the largest group of women at Canada Post were the 10,000 women working at non-clerical jobs inside the operations group, where the pay was better.

But the judge reserved his most critical words for what he called the "unreasonable" length of the human rights case - 10 years of investigation, followed by almost 12 years of hearings. Judge Kelen condemned the human rights tribunal for failing to keep the process on a timely schedule. "[The length of ] this case offends the public conscience of what is reasonable and responsible," he said.

This case appeared politically contentious from the start and contributed to a series of missteps at the HRC. This decision may impact another recent HRC decision - Federal Nurses Win Pay Equity Battle, NP Dec 18 2007 - in favour of the claimant and filed in 2004. It was left to the parties to negotiate a settlement within 3 months (March 18, 2008) and could affect 430 nurse/administrators working for Canada Pension Plan since 1978 when the HRC came into existence.

My impression is that:
  • Lower legal standards at HRC generally do no stand up to court scrutiny and merely doubles the time and costs to defendants, creating an very unfair burden.
  • Most cases are brought against Government or Crown Corporations (and are paid for by the taxpayer) to set precedents for use against private business who would normally negotiate quickly rather than drag out litigation through the courts for years. But technological change is rendering many of these jobs redundant.
  • "Pay Equity" is another social engineering construct that is in practice almost impossible to apply as one spends years arguing over the similarity of tasks - ie is not "letter sorting" essentially the same thing as "letter carrying" but without the exercise?
  • People are not stupid. Should women see men receiving higher pay for the same level of effort they will merely apply and complain if they don't get it, unless they truly do not have the skill requirements.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Prince George women to serve prison time with baby of father she murdered

This is bizarre.

This article oozes sympathy for Lisa Anne Whitford, 37, of Prince George and her 11-mth old son, Jordyn. It barely makes mention that she shot her common-law husband to death in 2006. She plead guilty to a manslaughter charge.

Yet despite that fact, it is unclear how her drug addiction played a role in their abusive relationship, but his reported abuse presumably mitigated the crowns case for Murder1 and was likely the factor which led to her to plead guilty to manslaughter.

As to her baby, Whitford will be allowed to keep Jordyn with her in prison. If she behaves by June 2009 she will be eligible for outings with the child - who will be 27 months old then - and she will be eligible for early release before Jordyn is four.

In the U.S, pregnant women entering any of the 114 federal prisons have the choice of an abortion or giving the child up for adoption or to foster parents. Of course they are allowed visits from children born before their arrest.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Women take 46 per cent more sick days than men

Equal pay for less work?

The University of Helsinki study found women took 46 per cent more short-term sick leave than their male counterparts even after discounting the data for child-care absences. They were also a third more likely to take slightly longer periods of sick leave, which required a medical certificate. Researchers said that the reasons for the difference could include women finding their work more physically demanding. Alternatively, they might simply be more organized about seeing a doctor and getting signed off work when ill.

The average UK worker takes six sick days a year - down from a peak of 9.1 in 1991.

Does this not weaken the "equal pay for equal work" argument of feminists?

Women have been given a "free pass" by most men under the illusion that they will not be required to leave work early to pick-up little Jadyce or Jason at the daycare when called upon.

As it turns out, Mom just wanted a "mental health" day.

The overall pay gap with men earning more is not about discrimination; it is mostly about the division of labor once children arrive - yet feminist folk-myth continues to portray it as an insidious patriarchal plot.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Friday, February 01, 2008

20th Anniversary of Regina vs. MORGANTALER

Interview with Henry Morgentaler - CBC The Hour

A difficult interview. (Personally, I don't like the guy. He's sleazy. And the last interview I saw confirmed it.)

Dr. Morgantaler was celebrating (or at least the feminist groups were) the 20th Anniversary of his "legal challenge". A symposium was held at UofT last week.