Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Word About Minnesota Pay Equity Practices is Getting Around and Some Folks Don't Like It

This article (click above) and the latest census data is not news. We have always known, in Minnesota, that women and men are paid similarly early on in their careers. We also know that in some tiny markets like Minneapolis, as compared to the country as a whole, young women are fairing better than their male counterparts. The gap widens as women and men progress in their careers for many of the reasons addressed in this anti-pay equity opinion article. The market has a funny way of treating the work that women do. Quite simply the market (a bunch of people making decisions about pay) undervalues the work women do for a gazillion different reasons -- some rational, some irrational.

Let's take a look at this sentence from the opinion piece:

"The state of Minnesota has precisely such a board, which at one time held that a delivery van driver and a clerk typist had to be paid the same wages because they did "equal work." "

I have to say the above sentence is full of inaccuracies -- which I won't address -- except to say that the way pay equity works for local governments in Minnesota is a combination of:

1. similar pay for work of comparable value for each job class
2. market wages,
3. seniority,
4. merit

I think the general public would be bored to tears if I went into the statistical analyses that goes into every pay equity review. You will also be surprised to learn that the 'board' is one person. But if anyone wants to learn the details of what local governments are required to report every 3 years-- and wants to take me out to lunch or have a cup of coffee -- let's talk.

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