December 20, 2018
There is no disputing the fact that women and minorities earn significantly less than their male counterparts with the same title doing the same job in New York City government. This type of racial and gender inequality is the driving force behind legislation in the City Council that would halt pay discrimination throughout City agencies. CWA Local 1180 has been the outspoken voice of the working people to make sure the bill became a reality.
Int 633 requires City agencies to annually report their data on gender, pay, and titles, to make sure there are no instances of pay discrimination. The bill, sponsored by Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, requires the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics (MODA) report on an annual basis, aggregated data from every City agency looking at gender, ethnicity and race at $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 pay bands to find instances of pay disparities. After receiving the data from DCAS, MODA would issue a report to the Mayor and the Speaker, and post this same report publicly on the MODA and Open NY websites. The Council, on an annual basis, will be given 90-day access, through a computer application, to employment level data for all City workers to conduct its own statistical analysis to find instances of pay disparities across City agencies.
Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton said that pay disparity based on gender and race has been a common practice in New York City for far too long.
“The color of our skin or our sexual orientation should not determine how we get paid. Gender parity is fundamental to whether and how economies and societies thrive. New York City’s talent pool is not comprised of just white men. In fact, there are plenty of minority women with higher educations working far below their pay grade,” she said.
That is the reason Local 1180 filed an EEO case against the City of New York. Middleton said the Union’s 1600 plus Administrative Managers who are minorities and females have been working for significantly less than their male counterparts for years, a problem that was brought to light soon after Local 1180 earned the right to represent the title. Local 1180 hired a statistician who, after adjusting for variables such as time in title and time working for the City, found that female Administrative Managers of color were making almost $16,000 less than their white male counterparts. Middleton said that equates to approximately $.69 to the dollar. In addition, both men and women working as Administrative Managers were being underpaid compared to other similar titles that had more white male workers.
In April 2015, Local 1180 won a groundbreaking decision with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that ruled in Local 1180’s favor, finding reasonable cause that the City had engaged in discriminatory pay practices. The EEOC also ruled in the Union’s favor on a second complaint, and found that the City violated its recordkeeping obligations to turn over data necessary to address issues of discrimination.
“We realized that this was a civil rights issue, not just for our Administrative Managers, but all workers who want to make sure they are being paid the same as their coworkers and that they are being compensated free from discrimination,” she said. “This bill will go a long way in correcting the civil rights and equal employment failures in what is supposed to be one of the most progressive cities in America,” Middleton said.
“We know this legislation won’t end the problem with disparate pay overnight,” she said. “But we hope it will be a big first step in helping the City take the necessary steps to increase transparency and join with us in being part of the solution so that discriminatory pay practices and institutional racism in the City of New York will be a thing of the past.