Midwifery Pay Equity Hearings Begin at Tribunal Today

June 1, 2016

TORONTO – Midwives and government each make opening statements today at a Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO) hearing regarding pay equity for midwives.

This legal action, brought by the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) on behalf of close to 800 midwives, alleges that midwives have experienced gender discrimination in their pay, set by the government, for nearly two decades.

AOM legal counsel Mary Cornish will argue that midwives comprise a profession of women providing care to women for a woman’s health experience (pregnancy, labour and birth), and as such, midwifery compensation has been undervalued through this *trifecta of discrimination.

Elizabeth Brandeis, President of the Association of Ontario Midwives and a registered midwife, notes, “Despite numerous promises to address the wage gap, this government continues to undervalue midwifery work and continues shirking their responsibility to close the pay equity gap for midwives. We are eager to start proceedings and present our case detailing two decades of discrimination.”

About Midwifery in Ontario
There are more than 900 registered midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 90 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health profession in 1994, more than 150,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including more than 35,000 births at home.

Midwives are experts in normal pregnancy, birth and newborn care. Midwifery care is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Midwives are university educated and trained in emergency management. Midwifery care is rooted in the most current maternal and newborn care research and evidence.

*While this case focuses on the gender discrimination impact on midwifery pay, not all midwives or midwifery clients are women. Some midwives and clients are trans. Trans people have experienced marginalization, including in health care and in the labour market.

The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario.


To set up an interview, please contact:
Juana Berinstein
Director, Policy and Communications
Association of Ontario Midwives
Cell: 416-371-1468 Email: Juana.berinstein@aom.on.ca
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