OTTAWA - Liberal Leadfer Michael Ignatieff says equal pay for work of equal value is a basic human right that should never be put up for grabs at the collective bargaining table.
To that end, he has introduced a private member's bill aimed at reversing a controversial measure in the 2009 federal budget.
The budget essentially reclassified pay equity as a labour issue to be negotiated in collective agreeements, stripping the Canadian Human Rights Commission of its authority to adjudicate pay equity complaints.
Ignatieff's bill would return pay equity to the human rights realm.
It would also create a federal pay-equity commission charged with implementing an equal-pay regime in the federal public service, federally regulated companies and Crown corporations by 2012.
Ignatieff says pay equity is really about gender equality, noting that women, on average, still earn only 72 cents for every dollar earned by men for the same work.