Ontario midwives call on Ford government to comply with tribunal orders to end gender discrimination with hand-delivered messages

February 28, 2020

Media Release

TORONTO: Last week, the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ordered the Ford government to take concrete actions to close the gender pay gap. On Friday, February 28, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. (EST), midwives across the province hand-delivered letters to their local Conservative MPPs asking them to implement the orders, instead of appealing the decision and continuing to spend resources fighting midwives in court.  

“Midwives experienced a gender penalty in our compensation. Now the courts have spoken. We are asking government take immediate action to implement the tribunal orders to close the gender pay gap and to protect midwives against discrimination in the future,” explains midwife Jen McVittie of Quinte Midwives. “This is not an order for a pay increase – this is an order for pay equity. Prolonging the battle in court is a waste of tax dollars and a continued violation of our human rights.”

The tribunal’s landmark orders came out seven years after Ontario midwives filed a complaint against the Ministry of Health for discriminatory compensation practices. The remedy includes an order for a compensation adjustment retroactive to 2011; compensation for injury to dignity, feelings, and self-respect; as well as the implementation of measures to ensure that midwives’ compensation remains compliant with the Human Rights Code going forward.

The province still has a long way to go towards achieving pay equity – the gender gap in Ontario is still 30%, meaning that women on average earn 70 cents on the male dollar.

“Midwives refuse to tolerate gender discrimination. We will hold our leaders accountable and demand pay equity. Our clients and their families value our services and exceptional outcomes. We have strong support across the province and we want Ford’s government to stand by us,” says Jen McVittie.

A copy of the Human Rights Tribunal decision and orders can be viewed at the Ontario Midwives website

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Media Contact:

Juana Berinstein
Director, Policy & Communications
Association of Ontario Midwives
Phone: 416-425-9974 x 2229
Mobile: 416-371-1468