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Collective bargaining and pay equity : a study of pay equity bargaining in two Canadian provinces

By Susan Margaret Skipton


The aim of this study was to explore the interrelationship between collective\ud bargaining and pay equity. A qualitative case study methodology was used.\ud Eighty-six interviews were conducted with union and management pay equity\ud negotiators, labour lawyers, Pay Equity Commission Review Officers, and\ud other informants. A collection of documentary evidence supplemented these\ud interviews.\ud The empirical work focused on explaining issues of structure, style and power\ud in pay equity bargaining and the complex intertwinings of the structural\ud properties of gender and class were considered crucial to an explanation of\ud these. The key structural dynamic in the negotiation of pay equity was found\ud to be the degree and effectiveness of a labour-feminist politic combined with\ud employer/state commitment, which are themselves interconnected and represent\ud the transformative face of gender and class power relations.\ud The thesis, in providing a theoretically informed discussion of detailed case\ud study material, contributes towards the debate on the effectiveness of collective\ud bargaining as a vehicle for implementing equal pay policy. It also informs the\ud debate on labour-management cooperation in labour relations, especially in\ud public sector collective bargaining. Because legislated pay equity is bargained\ud within a new set of legal parameters, the study may also aid our understanding\ud of the relationship between collective bargaining and the law. Finally, the\ud thesis attempts to unravel the interwoven complexities of gender and class\ud power relations in the collective bargaining process

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