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.

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