The title of the deck is “Pay Equity—The Federal Private Sector”, and it's coloured in mauve and green.
As I was saying, I'll speak first about the federal private sector. I'll then speak briefly, toward the end of my presentation, about the various roles and activities played by the labour program of ESDC, and then very briefly some high-level points on what has happened in the private sector with respect to pay equity.
Slide number 3 makes one simple point, and it's an important reminder, I think, because here in the Ottawa region pay equity often gets debated in terms of the federal public service, which is the preoccupation of most of the people who live here. The Canadian Human Rights Act, and particularly the right to equal pay for work of equal value also applies in what's called the broader federal private sector.
I should say that the normal way we define the private sector might strike you as a little unusual. We include federal crown corporations, and that's for two reasons. First is that they tend to work more like businesses than a public service does. Second, for that reason, federal crown corporations are covered by the Canada Labour Code, which applies generally to the private sector, so corporations like Canada Post or VIA, for example. We understand that crown corporations aren't perfectly private, but that's for your consideration.
On page 4, you can see that the minister's mandate for the private sector includes some very distinct and different kinds of industries in Canada. First, telecommunications, so radio, television, broadcasting, cable companies are covered, so obvious examples for you—Telus, the CBC, Astral Media, Vidéotron in Quebec.
The federal jurisdiction also includes the banking sector, so all of the large banks and many of the smaller banks as well are covered by federal labour legislation and by pay equity in the federal jurisdiction.
I should say, just by way of parentheses, that of all the employees in the federal jurisdiction in Canada, about 30% work in the banking industry.
Then there's a category of smaller organizations, or at least smaller sectors. Federal legislation covers grain handling, uranium mining, pipelines, and postal services. As I said earlier, crown corporations are covered, and the two largest examples that come to mind are Canada Post and VIA Rail.
Federal jurisdiction also covers interprovincial and international transportation. That is probably one of our biggest sectors, next to banking. For that reason, I've broken it out into some of the subsectors to help you understand the differences.
First is air transportation, not just the airlines themselves but also NavCan, which runs the air traffic control system in the country, security services at airports, and so on. Rail transportation—any rail line in Canada that crosses a provincial border is covered by federal legislation. Maritime industries, so ports, ferries, shipping that goes between provinces, those are all covered as well. Finally, there is road transportation. This includes any trucking firm that trucks across a provincial border or an international border, and oddly enough, even some municipal transit systems. The two here in the Ottawa-Gatineau area, both of which cross the bridges, fall under federal jurisdiction simply because they span more than one province.
On page 6, I've tried to give you some sense of the relative size of the private sector versus the public service. You can see here that about 75% of federally regulated employees in general, who are covered by pay equity, actually fall in the private sector. About 26% are in the public service, which includes the RCMP.
On page 7 we've tried to give you a sense of some of the variety you find in the federal jurisdiction in Canada. You can see in this matrix that we've divided examples into medium and large firms—that is, those with 100 or more employers. There are about 500 of these in the federal jurisdiction, but they actually employ 90% of employees who fall under the federal jurisdiction. That relatively small number is actually of firms that are among the most important in the country.
Then there are smaller firms—about 10,000 of them—that fall under federal jurisdiction, but they account for only about 10% of total employees.
Within those two categories there are the highly unionized and the barely unionized, if you will. Some obvious examples are airlines, railways, and crown corporations, which tend to be very highly unionized. Among the bigger firms that are non-unionized, you find banking as well as a couple of examples that fall into other industrial categories, such as FedEx, Rogers Communications, and WestJet in the airline industry.
Among small firms, you find some industries that are fairly highly unionized—marine transportation, for example—and then you find a sector of very small firms that don't have very many unions at all. Trucking is a classic example.
The point we're making here is that as this committee studies the area of pay equity and thinks about how it could be applied. It's important to keep in mind the variety of different firms to which it will apply and to think in terms of their needs for some flexibility.
I'll just finish quickly, if I still have a minute.
I won't go into page 8 in detail. I'll just say that the labour program of ESDC plays three roles with respect to pay equity. First, we offer policy advice. For example, the Bilson report was a joint initiative of the Minister of Labour at the time and the Minister of Justice, along with the government response.
We play a fairly small legislative role, but I want to mention it. The Canada Labour Code gives labour inspectors the authority to refer any suspected cases of gender pay discrimination to the Canadian Human Rights Commission.
Then third, we play a modest program role, largely providing educational support tools by way of our website to employers and employees who are interested in the area of pay equity.
I'll finish with a couple of points on pay equity over the years in the federal jurisdiction and the federal private sector.
First, there is obviously still, as my colleagues have pointed out, a gender wage gap. It has reduced slightly over the last 10 years or so from 81.9 cents in 2005 to 86.9 cents in 2015. Most of you will be familiar with some of the large cases that have fallen into the federal private sector—Bell Canada, Canada Post, and Air Canada. What's of note is that those are all very large firms.
I'll finish there. Thank you.