TORONTO (September 1, 2016) — The Government of Ontario took an important step in addressing the wage gap in Ontario by releasing a report on its final recommendations. OASIS applauds the government for taking steps to strengthen economic opportunities for women and for recognizing the crucial, hidden intersection between developmental services formally, and the informal care economy that provides for the thousands of Ontarians who are currently on wait lists for formal developmental services.
The report acknowledges that there are many complications in Ontario’s proxy method of pay equity and recognizes the variations in pay within child care, developmental services and personal support workers. Further, it raises the point that female dominated sectors are struggling to meet the mandated raises, and failing to attract talent without appropriate wage enhancements from the government.
“OASIS applauds the steering committee’s report for recognizing the challenges within the legislation and the need for amendments to help address the proxy method” said Ann Kenney, President of OASIS. “OASIS looks forward to partnering with the government to find amendments that enable our agencies to maintain capacity so that we can continue to support Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens.”
A number of the report’s recommendations call for increased consultations between the Ontario Government and the various relevant government sectors. OASIS recognizes that the gender wage gap will not be closed as a result of any single solution, and will therefore continue to work with the Ontario Government to develop a multi-faceted approach to closing the gender wage gap.
“Currently there are over 12,000 adults with developmental disabilities waiting for residential services, and thousands more waiting for other developmental services” said Ann Kenney, President of OASIS. “While working to close the gender wage gap, we must also ensure that we reduce unnecessary burdens placed on agencies that provide frontline services for thousands of Ontarians with developmental disabilities.”
OASIS encourages the Government of Ontario to consider its gender wage gap implementation strategy on four guiding principles:
1. Collaboration Matters: Discussions must continue to include the full spectrum of voices that reflect the diversity and complexity of this issue. OASIS asks those who are working in other female dominant sectors, such as early childhood education, home care and domestic violence
Ontario Agencies Supporting Individuals with Special Needs Agences ontariennes de soutien pour les personnes qui ont des besoins spéciaux
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to please reach out to us so that we can work together to find a solution that benefits all Ontarians.
2. Employees Matter: More than 80% of the developmental services workforce is made up of women. Attraction and retention in our sector, and many others, is problematic due to non-competitive wages, lack of full-time opportunity and advancement positions.
3. Agencies Matter: Frontline developmental services agencies help address systemic pressures and provide the support needed when vulnerable individuals with a developmental disabilities are no longer in school, so that parents can continue to work and contribute to the economic health of the province.
4. Sustainable Services Matter: Pay Equity burdens continue to have unintended consequences on frontline services.
This report is an important step towards closing the gender gap while maintaining frontline services. OASIS thanks the government for incorporating our earlier feedback on the legislation in the report and looks forward to continuing to work with the government to end waitlists and close the gender wage gap in Ontario.
OASIS is a volunteer-run, member-driven organization. Its member agencies serve over 65,000 of Ontario’s most vulnerable citizens and employ 25,000 full and part-time staff. Its 190 member agencies currently provide more than 85 per cent of all developmental services funded by the Ministry of Community and Social Services.