A Short History of Recurring Attempts to Address Gendered Salary Inequities at York (1975-1998)
Compiled by Ellen Baar
13 March 1975
Senate received the Report of the Task Force on the status of women and sent it to the President for immediate action. The recommendations included: a Presidential committee to review the salary of every full-time female faculty member and every full-time male instructor with the aim of removing disparities in salary related to sex; $229 000 to be paid as two years back pay and; $114 500 adjustment to current salaries. Gender inequities in pensions were also addressed.
The Report of the Presidential Committee on Professional Librarians, the Stewart Commission, stated that: “Philosophically and logically, the committee agreed that 100% parity in salary scale between Librarians and Faculty (particularly if this report is accepted) was justified.”
5 May 1976
President MacDonald accepts and agrees to implement Stewart Commission recommendations, but parity in salaries between librarians and faculty never achieved.
Presidential committee to remove salary disparities report. 93 of 189 women faculty received adjustments totalling $110 117. Full professors received $21 323. 51 Associate Professors received $36 102. and Assistant Professors $29 686. Others received $23 006.
Equity for Women: the First Decade provided an update on implementation of 1975 recommendations.
1 January 1990
Date by which York was required by pay equity legislation to post a pay equity plan. York failed to meet the deadline.
21 June 1990
YUFA and the Administration were still in negotiations over pay equity.
21 April 1991
Institute for Social Research (ISR) provided YUFA with a proposal for analyzing faculty salaries to identify systemic sex differences. Executive approved the study on 30 April 1991.
The Administration approved payment of half of the study costs.
11 May 1992
Prof. Monette's study Gender differences in tenure-stream faculty salaries at York based on 1990-1 salary data concludes that “the gender gap is much higher at higher levels than at lower levels, and much of the gap at higher levels is caused by a predominantly male highly-paid group who pull up the male average. This group consists mainly of members who were hired directly at a senior rank instead of moving up through the ranks.… Since the group of faculty members hired at the full professor level has but 3 women out of 69, this route to high pay appears essentially closed to women.”
21 March 1994
Second phase of pay equity negotiations begin. The YUFA team is headed by Pat McDermott. Other members include Michael Ornstein, Nina de Shane, Ellen Baar, Mary Williamson, Mary Kandiuk and Tom Scott.
4 November 1994
Prof Monette's Analysis of the Gender Gap based on 1993-4 data indicates that on average women earn $12 865 / year less than men faculty. Within the tenured professorial group there is a salary gap of about $14 000. Salaries for junior hires are 4.7% below those of men controlling for previous experience.
18 November 1994
Based on Monette's data YUFA concludes (a) women within 10 years of retirement are disadvantaged; (b) some departments with anomalously low salaries are entirely or predominantly female; (c) the regression analysis fails to consider relevant prior experience; and (d) the data indicate systemic discrimination in promotion.
Pay Equity Commission Review Officer began meeting with the parties.
16 May 1995
Administration imposes a cap of $450 000 on base salary and pension adjustment increases for full-time faculty (about $1080 per female faculty member).
Parties agree to employ age and experience when identifying women faculty whose salaries are anomalously low.
14 December 1995
Agreed to a pay equity plan for librarians. Salary adjustments are retroactive to 1 January 1990. No librarian to be below 87% of the faculty line.
Fall of 1996
ISR gathered data on relevant professional experience of women faculty.
Agreed in bargaining to increase the cap on base salary pay equity adjustments for women faculty to $650 000 and agreed that payments will be retroactive to 1 July 1995. A lump sum of $2700 is to be paid to those retiring after 1 January 1990. However, those hired after 30 June 1996 will not receive an adjustment.
Data cleaning required record checks and interviews with faculty women.
Agreed to make retroactive payments to women faculty to be paid in December 1997. Base adjustments effective February 1998.
Negotiations addressing strategies for preventing systemic salary inequities continue.