New York City workers demand action on gender-based wage equality
People should be paid an honest wage for an honest day’s work. This is a very basic principle that probably seems obvious to most readers today. Although efforts have been made to bridge long-standing disparities in pay between certain groups of people, the unfortunate reality is that this type of discrimination persists.
Not long ago, New York’s school safety agents renewed their call for the mayor to settle a wage discrimination claim filed against the city. According to the suit, safety agents, who are predominantly women, make $7,000 less per year than men fulfilling similar duties in other public facilities. The claim was filed in 2010 and remains to be settled, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s commitment to do so.
Supporters of the move to equalize pay point to a position taken by the city more than a decade ago that declared the school safety agent jobs to be “comparable” to more male-dominated security roles. They argue that the city saw equivalence in the roles then, so they should do so in the present.
Like many other public employees, school safety agents play a critical in their communities. Every day, parents send their children to class with the expectation that they will remain safe and secure — and the women at the heart of this ongoing wage litigation play a major role in this. As such, they should be adequately recognized for the kind of service they provide.
For many people, waiting on this kind of disparity to be corrected is difficult. It’s alarmingly clear just how wage inequity causes harm. After all, people rely on earning a fair income to make ends meet for themselves and family members.
Source: New York Daily News, “Female school safety agents urge Mayor de Blasio to settle pay discrimination lawsuit for getting equal pay with male counterparts,” Annie Karni, May 9, 2014