Friday, December 17, 2010

Defending Pay Equity in Minnesota - A Call to Action

Pay Equity Friends,

On December 10, 2010 The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce ( released its findings regarding public employee compensation. One of their many recommendations is:

"State pay equity/comparable worth law should be repealed. Its purpose is outdated, and requiring governments to correct perceived “errors” in labor markets based on bureaucratic and subjective assessments of the relative value of government jobs is an unnecessary and costly mandate." (, p.7.)

We, of course, do not agree. The purpose of the state pay equity/comparable worth law is to eliminate “discrimination against women who are paid less than men for jobs requiring comparable levels of expertise.” ( It is very likely there will be legislation introduced this legislative session, which begins January 3, 2011, in response to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and NAIOP Minnesota’s recommendations. The Chamber of Commerce is the state’s largest business advocacy organization.

The State Government Pay Equity Act and the Local Government Pay Equity Act were passed in 1982 and 1984 respectively. The Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota is dedicated to defending the laws and ensuring they are not weakened or repealed.

Both pieces of legislation have been very successful in putting more money into the pockets of hard working women in the public sector. These laws go far beyond the concept of equal pay for equal work – which we know has been largely ineffective in terms of decreasing the wage gap between fulltime working women and men. According to a report released in June, 2010 by the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and the Humphrey Institute: “White, African American and Latina women earn $0.76, $0.61 and $0.56 on the dollar, respectively, compared to white men”. ( The State Government Pay Equity Act has helped to eliminate this gap for state employees -- except for $.03 of it!

We can use your help! It is important that our side is represented at the State Capitol this winter. As much as we look to our volunteers for help, it is important that paid professionals come to our aid as well, and that requires money.

If you or your organization can help, please send your check donations to our fiscal agent:

Minnesota Women’s Consortium
550 Rice St.
St. Paul, MN 55103
Check tagline: Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota

Please contact me any time if you have any questions about the efforts of the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota. We are also available to speak at your events.


Patty Tanji

1 comment:

Shannon Drury said...

Repealing pay equity? I'm shocked and disgusted. I'll repost this link everywhere!