Civilian OPP employees file human rights complaint
Published Friday, January 26, 2018 7:17PM EST
Civilian employees of the OPP have filed a human rights complaint, saying they're victims of gender-based discrimination and are paid unfairly for their work.
Amanda Weaver, a civilian employee with the OPP in Orillia, is just one of the more than 80 workers of the Civilian Association of Managers and Specialists that has filed the human rights complaint against province’s largest police force.
The group alleges they are paid less and receive reduced or no benefits compared to male uniform officers, who are doing the same or comparable work in human resources, finance or other business support-type roles.
"It’s about total compensation closing that gender wage gap," says Weaver. "It’s the exact same job, but the civilian manager will make anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 less."
Danielle Bisnar, one of the lawyers representing the civilian workers, says “they are the only group of employees at the OPP that doesn't have a recognized bargaining association and that has significantly impacted their compensation."
It’s a situation Weaver claims belittles her role. The group alleges they are often the target of sexist comments.
"I’ll go to a meeting with a number of colleague managers all my counterparts uniform and civilian at the table and we're all sort of on the same or similar level and yet I’ll be asked if I ordered the coffee or brought the coffee or I’ll be given a piece of paper to dial the telephone conference line."
Bisnar calls the OPP a male dominated workplace.
“These compensation practices, they don't exist in a vacuum. They are normalized and they are perpetuated within a broader culture. That includes unwelcome sexist comments about the role of women and their work within the organization."
In a statement to CTV News, the OPP said “it must remain vigilant to prevent and address any instance of harassment and or discrimination in the workplace.”
“All complaints brought forward are thoroughly reviewed and investigated as required to ensure that all employees are treated with respect and dignity, which is consistent with the values of the OPP and OPS."
The next phase of the human rights tribunal will reconvene in April in Toronto.