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CAUT Bulletin Archives

February 2013

UBC closes salary disparity gap

The base pay of all female faculty in the professoriate and instructor streams at the University of British Columbia will be rising by two per cent to eliminate gender pay inequities that were first identified almost seven years ago.

Joint working groups struck by the University of British Columbia Faculty Association and the pro­vost’s office took two years to analyze pay equity issues brought forward by the university’s equity office in 2007 and again in 2009, and have since reported their findings, along with recommendations to sustain equity.

An Analysis of the Gender Pay Gap in Professorial Salaries at UBC, the 2010 report of the pay equity analysis and resolution (DATA) working group concluded: “… this study has used four different regression methods (pooled, male line, female line, and the log of salary analysis). These approaches yield a similar finding: women faculty members have a salary disadvantage of roughly $3,000. These findings appear to be robust and the amount of the salary disadvantage is, in our opinion, substantial and warrants being addressed.”

The two per cent salary increase is a negotiated solution to address the inequity, as there is no perfect mechanism for resolving the issue. The adjustment is retroactive to July 1, 2010 and will be in place by Feb. 28, 2013.

UBCFA president Nancy Langton said “the two per cent takes a systemic approach. It will not resolve all salary differences, and it will likely not make all salaries equal.”

The working groups considered various options to deal with the salary gap according to a set of criteria as well as the experience of 17 other universities in Canada and the U.S.

UBC is obliged under the British Columbia Human Rights Code to provide equal pay for equal work on the basis of gender, but hadn’t undergone any similar equity eva­luations since 1985.

Another report from the working groups addressed strategies to ensure continuing pay equity, and that UBC is a comfortable work environment for women in general. Specific targets include training to identify discriminatory practices and unconscious bias along with development of tools and safeguards, establishment of mechanisms for periodic audit, and best practice implementation.

Librarians and archivists at the university were not included in the pay raise after review showed there was no discernible gendered salary gap in their group.

The increase is independent of all collective bargaining at the university.