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Pay Gap Committees

Academic staff participation in an equal compensation study is required in order to enhance understanding and acceptance of the process, goals and outcomes.

  • CAUT Policy Statement on the Human Right to Equitable Compensation

Many pay equity studies that are publicly available have been done under a joint faculty-management committee. Sometime the Committee has the study undertaken by faculty members, though sometimes an external consultant can be engaged to do the work. The consultant may be faculty from another institution or an independent consultant. There may be different joint committees as part of the study. For example, at Simon Fraser University, one committee was struck to undertake the analysis of faculty salary data, and a second was tasked with forming recommendations based on the findings of the analysis. 

A joint employer and association committee is best placed to undertake pay gap studies in order to have access to the necessary data, agree upon the methodology and ensure remedies and recommendations are implemented.

Associations have also undertaken their own studies, to bring pressure on administration to take action on inequities in compensation.  The study undertaken by the Association of Academic Staff of the University of Alberta, published in 2017, is an example of a study undertaken by a faculty-only committee.

In some cases, individual faculty have undertaken studies without formal committee representation. In these cases, the study may be published as an academic work,6 or a study undertaken by a faculty member which may be brought to the association to motivate action against inequities identified in the study.7

6 Faculty from the University of Manitoba have published two academic studies investigating the gender pay gap at the university:

Brown, L.K., Troutt, E.. Sex and Salaries at a Canadian University: The Song Remains the Same or the Times They Are a Changin'? Canadian Public Policy Vol. 3, Issue 3. 2017: Sex and Salaries at a Canadian University: The Song Remains the Same or the Times They Are a Changin'? | Canadian Public Policy (

Brown, L.K., Troutt E. and Prentice, S.. Ten Years After: Sex and Salaries at a Canadian University. Canadian Public Policy. 2011: Ten Years After: Sex and Salaries at a Canadian University | Canadian Public Policy (

7 In the case of Carleton University, faculty members gained access to salary data and undertook their own analysis. They then brought thee findings to the faculty association to motivate action to address the found inequities (Interview with Carleton faculty member, 2018).