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