Fighting for Equal Pay In Albany

Diane J. Savino

May 11, 2009

Fighting for Equal Pay In Albany
by Brooklyn Eagle (, published online 05-07-2009

In support of the New York State Fair Pay Act, advocates converged in Albany for National Equal Pay Day, April 28, in an effort to draw attention to the still-existing pay disparities between women and men.
Senator Diane Savino joined Senator Craig M. Johnson; Assemblywoman Susan John; M. Patricia Smith, Commissioner of the NYS Dept of Labor; Sonia Ossoria, NYC NOW President, Alan Lubin, Excecutive V.P. of the NYS United Teachers (NYSUT); Tom Comanzo, Coordinator New York State Public Employees Federation (PEF); and Beverly Cooper Neufeld, V.P. of New York Women’s Agenda.

“It’s been 40 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act and here we are, almost a full generation and a half past, yet we have still not achieved pay equity for women,” said Senator Savino. “Part of the wage gap results from differences in education, experience or time in the workforce. But, the reality is, some jobs pay less, simply because they are dominated by women.”

“Social workers for example, make on average $6,000 less than parole officers, even though they both have similar education levels and work with the same population,” the Senator added. “This is simply not fair.”

“Studies show that women make 77 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts make for the same tasks,” said Senator Johnson. “Pay discrimination is still a fact of life and once and for all we need to ensure that everyone receive the equal pay and the equal respect that they deserve.”

The New York State Fair Pay Act, (S.3936), would mandate equal pay for work of equal value for jobs in which women and people of color predominate. It requires employers to evaluate and compensate jobs, based on skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions — rather than on who is doing the work.

The bill, which is similar to legislation on the books in two dozen other states, would additionally offer employees protection for disclosing or discussing their salaries. These protections do not currently exist.

© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2009