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