Friday, November 18, 2011

US District Court Orders Compensation Information

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled that United Space Alliance LLC must supply the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs with compensation information requested for a review of the company's Cape Canaveral, Fla., facility. The ruling upholds a Feb. 28 decision by the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges.

"Workplace discrimination is not universal, but it is far too common — and the people who suffer most are the American workers," said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. "At OFCCP, we are charged with identifying which federal contractors discriminate in their hiring and pay practices, and which are abiding by the law. We cannot serve our mission to protect workers if companies refuse to give us access to the records they promised to keep and share with us when they signed their contracts."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Bloomington League of Women Voters Pay Equity Reference Materials

Hello to attendees of the talk Patty Tanji gave on Nov. 1, 2011. As promised here are the links and documents referenced.

1. For the StarTribune Minneapolis Public School Article and the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota’s response:

2. The St. Louis Fed’s article regarding a dip in the 2nd quarter wage gap numbers with reasons for the wage gap. We caution the use of the word ‘choice’ in terms of employment. Women choose to be nurses, teachers, administrators rather than executives and engineers. Yes….to a certain extent. I often call this rationale for paying women less than men the ‘let them be plumbers’ argument.

3. Stereotypes: Excerpts from Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink can be found by clicking here

4. Catalyst research on the gender wage gap from Current Population Survey 2009 can be found by clicking here

5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Women’s Earnings by Industry 2009 is here.

Thanks everyone! Email me at if you want a paper copy of any of these reports mailed to you the traditional method.

In gratitude,


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Markets Pay Rates Are Not a System of Values or Worth

The Minneapolis School Board had a $165,000 compensation study done recently that has proven to be controversial.  The results of the study indicated that some of the good folks (teachers were excluded) in the Minneapolis school district like clerical and food service (mostly women) were being paid 'over market rates' while others were being paid 'under market rates'. The October 27, 2011 Star Tribune article is here:

Here's the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota's response:

The whole point of the pay equity law was to challenge the notion that pay should be set "according to the market" - which really just means paying what everybody else pays, but is far from scientific or objective and invariably incorporates historic bias against all marginalized groups.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Maya Moore's Salary of the WNBA - Nuff Said

Thanks to Mpls/St.Paul BizJournal for including Maya in their 7 most underpaid athletes in Minnesota. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Uncovering Wage Inequities in the Market Place

September 15, 3 pm. Uncover Gender Inequities in the Market Place. A teleconference.   You must click on the link and leave your name and email for call details.    

Eddy Lindenstein of PayScale will show us how their Insight tool helps determine market rates of pay and gender inequities inherent in the marketplace for wages. This tool is used by employees and employers alike.

The Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota has long believed that market considerations (external equity) as well as how your salary compares to others at your workplace (internal equity) must be taken into account when setting wages. The state of Minnesota assigns job point values to each job class then ensures pay properly reflects that value. As was determined by Minnesota Taxpayer Association report published October, 2010:
"State employee wages are typically above market rates for positions requiring less
education while below market rates for positions with higher educational requirements."
The state's pay equity laws ensures there are no patterns of paying women less then men for jobs of similar job point value in the public sector.  

For Employers - This tool will show you how gender inequities exist in the market place for the same jobs in any market.   You will learn how wage benchmarking alone may be a trap leading to discriminatory wage practices.

For Employees - This tool will show the realities of gender wage discrepancies. Many employees use this as a starting point from which to begin salary negotiations.


September 20, 12 pm - 2 pm, 2012 legislative session strategy meeting of the Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota.   Lunch will be served. Everyone is welcome!  Please rsvp by responding to this email and stating 'yes -- I plan to attend'. Big conference room, basement, 550 Rice St., St. Paul.


Plans are unfolding for a national/international conference on women, pay, and economic security.   Information regarding opportunities to partner with Patty Tanji of Open Workplace, LLC and/or help sponsor the event are forthcoming.  Contact patty.tanji@myopenworkplace for details.

Let's do it up Minnesota style!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wage Gap is Accepted Practice Today

A post by Ann Daly who cites a report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

A woman graduating with a bachelor's degree last year earned a median starting salary of $36,451. For a man, it was $44,159. When you calculate a lifetime of percentage raises and compound interest, that nearly $8,000 difference is staggering.
We press on.....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Discuss pay at work - go ahead!

This article from Northwest Labor Press addresses company policies that prohibit discussing pay with colleagues. It's actually illegal to do so. So go ahead -- discuss away. However, polls show that people are a little squeamish about sharing salary information.

American cultural norms sometimes get in the way. In a February 2010 survey of 1,356 employed adults by Harris Interactive, only 33 percent said they were comfortable sharing details of their compensation … with their best friend. Even fewer — 15 percent — felt comfortable discussing wages with other employees at their level.

Since only 7% of the U.S. workforce is unionized -- that means the rest of us better be prepared when we start talking about salary. Get the facts at and

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Two More Wins for Pay Equity in Minnesota

We did again! Rep. Drazkowski took the provision to repeal the local government pay equity act out of HF 7! And, HF 519 was dropped from the agenda today in Government Operations and Election Committee. So far so good.........again!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pay Equity Hearing on HF 7, Wed. April 27, 10:15, Rm 5, State Office Building

Call to Action:

House Government Operations & Elections Committee.

**Call Rep. Peppin and ask to testify at the hearing in opposition to HF7. 651-296-7806

**Call Committee Members in your district -- tell them you oppose HF7, the bill to repeal of the local government pay equity act --

**Attend the hearing on Wednesday the 27th in support of pay equity. State Office Building Room.

Questions -- call Patty Tanji 651-271-1462,

Please call these committee members if they represent your district and tell them you oppose HF7 the pay equity repeal bill:

Chair of House Government Operations & Elections Committee: Rep. Joyce Peppin (R-Rogers) 651-296-7806

Committee Members

Duane Quam 29A, Byron 651-296-9236
David Hancock 2B, Bemidji 651-296-4265
Rich Murray 27A, Albert Lea 651-296-8216
Marion Greene 60A, Minneapolis 651-296-0171
Frank Hornstein 60B, Minneapolis 651-296-9281
Carol McFarlane 53B, White Bear Lake 651-296-5363
Tim O’Driscoll 14A, Sartell 651-296-7808
Tim Sanders 51A, Blaine 651-296-4226
Bev Scalze 54B, Little Canada 651-296-7153
Steve Simon 44A, St. Louis Park 651-296-9889
Dean Urdahl 18B, Grove City 651-296-4344
Ryan Winkler 44B, Golden Valley 651-296-7026
Michael Beard 35A, Shakopee 651-296-8872
Michael Nelson 46A, Brooklyn Park 651-296-3751

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Minnesota's Almanac Discusses Pay and Unions

Eliot Seide of AFSCME and Rep. Downey discuss the proposed 15% reduction in Minnesota State employee workforce. Also mentioned are equal pay and benefits for public and private workers. The gender wage gap between public sector employees and private sector employees is mentioned. (77% for private sector 100% for state employees).

Thursday, March 3, 2011

MinnPost - Bill to abolish pay equity is pulled, and author apologizes

MinnPost - Bill to abolish pay equity is pulled, and author apologizes

We are thrilled to learn of Senator Carlson's change of heart. Thank you Senator Carlson.

There are still more anti-pay equity bills in the Minnesota state hopper: HF698 / SF282.

Thank you to all our supportive organizations:

Child Care Works
American Association of University Women/Minnesota
American Association of University Women/Minneapolis
Education Minnesota
Gender Justice
JOBS NOW Coalition
Joint Council Legislative Committee of the Girl Scouts
Minnesota Business Women
Minnesota Constitution Amendment for Equality
Minnesota Library Association
Minnesota National Organization for Women
Minnesota Women’s Consortium
Minnesota Women Lawyers
MPIRG – Minnesota Public Interest Research Group
Women’s Foundation of Minnesota


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pay Equity Law Detects Patterns of Pay Inequities

The Local Government Pay Equity law prohibits one thing: a consistent pattern of paying less for jobs done by women, when they are of comparable value to jobs done by men - with the value determined by the city's or county's management.

The law does not require raising men's wages.

The law does not require hiring a consultant.

It does not require a market survey.

It does not require re-evaluating all jobs every year.

The law does not dictate any particular system for assigning points to jobs

It does not dictate statewide pay rates for any job.

It does not require "pay for points."

The "pay equity study" can be completed in about an hour for any jurisdiction with fewer than 10 job titles.

Management determines the value of each job, based on the skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions.

The law was written to address sex based pay inequities. Any pay raise that does not address the consistent pattern of paying women less then men for jobs of comparable value - is a misuse of the law. Anyone who gets a raise for any reason other than gender based pay inequity is not the result of Minnesota's pay equity law but rather management's decision to pay those people more for whatever reason.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Minnesota Daily Supports Pay Equity

The Minnesota Daily is the University of Minnesota's newspaper. By the way -- the U of M is exempt from the Local Government Pay Equity Act -- due to its 'sovereignty' relationship with the state of Minnesota.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Our View: Pay equity law should remain - Mankato Free Press

Our View: Pay equity law should remain

Bemidji Pioneer Editorial: Republicans would strip pay equity

The byline of this article reads:

"Republicans, who lead both the Minnesota House and Senate, may have been overzealous in their attempt to trim government. Under the mantle of removing mandates from local governments, a Republican effort is underfoot to repeal the 1984 law that brings gender balance to public employment."

Click on the link above for the full article that appeared in the Bemidji Pioneer February 9, 2011.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Move to repeal pay equity is a foot at the capitol - Star Tribune

Here's my two cents in response to the article......

The Pay Equity Coalition of Minnesota opposes the repeal of the local government's pay equity law for many reaons but here's a couple of quick ones.......

The law continues to put money in the pockets of hard-working women working in the public sector.

The pay equity law puts the onus on employers to fairly treat their employees in terms of wage setting.

The law is different than other federal and state pay equity laws that are complaint driven and require employees to sue their bosses to be compensated fairly. Suing your boss.......not a good idea.

This law goes well beyond the concept of equal pay for equal work -- it examines a job's value to an employer, regardless of gender, using criteria such as know how, problem solving, accountability, and working conditions.

Jobs are paid based on their job value. Statistical analysis determines whether or not there is a pattern of paying women less then men doing jobs of similar value to that employer.

If patterns of gender inequities are found in local units of governments, salary adjustments must be made to comply with the law.

And there you have it........

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

MinnPost - DFLers blast House bill eliminating equal pay provision

MinnPost - DFLers blast House bill eliminating equal pay provision

DFL raises concerns over repeal effort of pay equity for women | Minnesota Public Radio News

DFL raises concerns over repeal effort of pay equity for women | Minnesota Public Radio News

Minnesota House DFL Opposes Repeal of Pay Equity

I attended a news conference today at the Minnesota state capitol hosted by the Minnesota House DFL. (Sorry for the sound quality in the video -- amateur here!) They stand in opposition to HF 7 - a bill to repeal the Local Government Pay Equity Act. Here is a short blurb from their press release:
"Our state faces a budget deficit, a jobs deficit, and now Republicans are trying to add an equality deficit.....This proposal distracts us from the real challenges facing Minnesotans while making it harder for working women to earn a wage they deserve. It makes no sense."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Growing Gender Gap in Starting Salaries for Physicians--with Men Making Nearly $17,000 More Than Women in 2008

Received this in my inbox today. The trend continues. I can't figure out why anyone would assume women want more balance in their lives then men. Really?

I've included the contact information for those of you who want to follow-up with the study. In the mean time -- fighting the good pay equity fight here in Minnesota for public sector women.


February 03, 2011
12:01 AM EST
Kay Campbell
(301) 652-1558

Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962

New Health Affairs Study Identifies Growing Gender Gap in Starting Salaries for Physicians--with Men Making Nearly $17,000 More Than Women in 2008

The Gap Isn't Explained by Women's Choice of Specialty, Practice Type, or Working Hours--What Causes It Isn't Known

Bethesda, MD--Newly trained physicians who are women are being paid significantly lower salaries than their male counterparts, according to a new study published in the February issue of Health Affairs. The authors identify an unexplained gender gap in starting salaries for physicians that has been growing steadily since 1999, increasing from a difference of $3,600 in 1999 to $16,819 in 2008. This gap exists even after accounting for gender differences in determinants of salary including medical specialty, hours worked, and practice type, say the authors.

The authors based their conclusions on survey data from physicians exiting training programs in New York State, which is home to more residency programs and resident physicians than any other state in the country (1,073 programs, according to data assembled by the Association of American Medical Colleges). The number of physicians in the survey sample included 4,918 men and 3,315 women.

The study findings are especially significant since women represent nearly half of all US medical students and are projected to make up about one-third of all practicing physicians at the beginning of this coming decade. Women had lower starting salaries than men in nearly all specialties, according to Anthony Lo Sasso, a professor and senior research scientist at the School of Public Health of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and his coauthors. The gap grew steadily from 1999 to 2008. In 1999, new women physicians earned $151,600 on average compared to $173,400 for men--a 12.5 percent salary difference. That difference grew to nearly 17 percent by 2008, with women starting out at $174,000 compared to $209,300 for men.

"It is not surprising to say that women physicians make less than male physicians because women traditionally choose lower-paying jobs in primary care fields or they choose to work fewer hours," says Lo Sasso. "What is surprising is that even when we account for specialty and hours and other factors, we see this growing unexplained gap in starting salary. The same gap exists for women in primary care as it does in specialty fields."

The authors contend that the differences in pay persist even when adjusting for differences in work hours, specialty choice, practice location, and numerous other factors. Potential reasons that cannot be ruled out include an increase in gender discrimination and that women are not as skilled as men at negotiating salaries.

But Lo Sasso believes that the divergence in starting salaries may have more to do with the fact that women physicians are seeking greater flexibility and family-friendly benefits, such as not being on call after certain hours. He suggests that women may be negotiating these conditions of employment at the same time that they are negotiating their starting salaries.

"It may be that lifestyle factors may be increasingly important to newer physicians," says Lo Sasso. "It could be that women in particular want to have more of a lifestyle balance in their medical careers."

Historically, women have disproportionately chosen primary care fields such as internal medicine, family practice, or pediatrics. But the percentage of women entering primary care dropped from nearly 50 percent in 1999 to just over 30 percent in 2008. Despite entering higher-paying specialties, the authors found that the widening gap in pay persisted. For example:

Female heart surgeons were paid $27,103 less on average than males.
Female otolaryngologists made $32,207 less than males.
Women specializing in pulmonary disease made $44,320 less than men.
Lo Sasso contends that physicians and specialty groups need to clearly understand what is motivating the gender gap in physician pay and address it, especially given the increased need for physicians, particularly in the primary care field. He cautions that policy makers and physician practices should reconsider how to attract providers, the structure of working arrangements, and how to pay providers.

About Health Affairs
Health Affairs, published by Project HOPE, is the leading journal of health policy. The peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published weekly at You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter and download Narrative Matters on iTunes. Address inquiries to Sue Ducat at (301) 841-9962 or

Friday, January 21, 2011

New data on gender segregation and pay disparities in jobs | Remapping Debate

New data on gender segregation and pay disparities in jobs | Remapping Debate

If one examined occupations with more than 90 percent women and more than 100,000 workers, there would only be six such occupations (as compared with 35 for men). Remapping Debate used less stringent measure of occupational domination — greater than 75 percent women — to yield the 30 occupations depicted in this data visualization.

In each and every one — whether large occupations like secretaries or teachers, or smaller occupations like payroll and timekeeping clerks — median earnings of women were less than those of men, although women did have median earnings in excess of 90 percent of those of men in several occupations.

In five cases — including registered nurses and elementary and middle school teachers — median pay for women was $40,000 or more a year (compared with 20 such occupations for men).

The highest median for women is that of registered nurses ($59,499). There were four occupations with more than 100,000 workers in total that had median incomes for men that were higher (including engineering managers and construction managers).

That's why we have to compensate women for the work they do -- not the work that men do. When accountability, problem solving, and know how are taken into consideration -- women's compensation stacks up against men! Comparable worth lives!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pay Equity Law in Minnesota Targeted for Repeal

Pay Equity Friends,

Today a bill, HF 7, was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives to repeal the Local Government Pay Equity Act (LGPEA). Other mandates are also included in the bill.

The LGPEA of 1984 (M.S. 471.991 to 471.999) required local governments (cities, counties, school districts, etc) to “establish equitable compensation relationships” by December 31, 1991. Other common terms for “equitable compensation relationships” are “comparable worth” or “pay equity.” Jurisdictions report to the Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget every three years.

The purpose of the law is “to eliminate sex-based wage disparities in public employment in this state.” Equitable compensation relationships are achieved when “the compensation for female-dominated classes is not consistently below the compensation for male-dominated classes of comparable work value…within the political subdivision.” (Minnesota Management & Budget “Minnesota Local Government Pay Equity Compliance Report”, January 2011).

The MMB’s January, 2011 report notes various pay increases as a result of inequities found in local governments who reported in 2010. Before the inequities were corrected, the average pay for females in the examples found in the report was $16.27 per hour. After pay equity adjustments were made, the average pay for females was $17.86 per hour.

What this report tells us is that the LGPEA is of vital importance to the lives of women working public sector jobs in Minnesota and that wage discrimination is alive and well. Not to mention that women still make $.22 less than men, on average, in the state of Minnesota.

We cannot allow the Local Government Pay Equity Act to be abolished! Please pass along this information within your networks.