Saturday, March 1, 2008

Feb. Branch meeting on pay equity - as scheduled!

On Tuesday, Feb. 26th, a handful of intrepid AAUW members defeated yet another blizzard to participate in our first branch meeting by conference call.

Our February program, Pay Equity Status Report, a presentation by Lois Haignere, Ph.D., had already been rescheduled once due to snow. Determination can make many things happen. We met despite the snow via conference call.

Lois is a respected researcher in pay equity issues. Some of the points she made:
  • There's a significant difference between equal pay and comparable pay.
  • In the private sector you can be fired for disclosing your pay to others, so there's often no way to know whether you are paid unequally; the 2007 Supreme Court decision made it virtually impossible to bring a successful private sector suit.
  • In NYS, the existing law covers only equal pay.
  • To correct this, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007, the NYS Assembly has passed the NYS Fair Pay Bill with bi-partisan support and great fanfare
  • Every year the NYS Senate kills the NYS Fair Pay Bill in committee.
This year a broad based coalition of women's groups, including AAUW, are committed to getting the bill out of committee. This call/branch meeting was a prelude to Pay Equity Day in Albany on April 2, featuring Gloria Steinem and others who will join with us to lobby the State Legislature on the upcoming vote for pay equity.

You can download a pdf of Lois' slides here.

Women and minorities have long received lower pay than their counterpart males. According to recent research by national AAUW, women now earn 77 cents to every one dollar men earn, yet do not pay correspondingly less at the cash registers. This year, the focus for Pay Equity Day in Albany will be on improving the lot of librarians and library aides, teachers' aides, nursing aides and food service workers -- often women, often supporting families and children.

This free program is open to the public. Donations will be accepted to provide scholarships for those wishing to join the lobbying in Albany on Wed., April 2. For more information, contact AAUW Kingston Branch President Garnette Arledge (845-702-2120,

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting way to hold the meeting! Please do let us know how it goes -- other branches around the country may want to hear about your success!