Monday, April 16, 2007

Kathy Black, Philadelphia NOW VP for finance, is assembling a coalition of local women’s organizations to co-sponsor the following resolution which will be introduced by Blondell Reynolds Brown on Thursday, April 26 at City Council at 10:00.


WHEREAS, Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, women continue to suffer the consequences of inequitable pay differentials; and

WHEREAS, Wage discrimination laws are not often enforced and cases are extremely difficult to prove and win; and

WHEREAS, Although women’s earnings have been slowly catching up to men’s over time, the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) tells us that this reduction in the wage gap is in part due to a fall in men’s earnings rather than an increase in women’s earnings; and

WHEREAS, Despite the fact that women make up almost half of the American workforce, women on average still earn only 77% of men’s earnings; African American women earn 71.7% of men’s average earnings; Latinas, 58.5%; Asian American women, 87.2%; and

WHEREAS, even when experience, education and time in the workforce are factored in, a significant percentage of this differential can only be attributed to discrimination; and

WHEREAS, according to U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, women earn less than men in every occupational classification for which data is available, including occupations dominated by women; and

WHEREAS, over a working lifetime, this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family an estimated $523,000 in lost wages, impacting Social Security benefits and pensions for the family, and the American economy overall;

WHEREAS, A vast majority of households depend on wages of a working mother and working families are often just one paycheck away from hardship; and

WHEREAS, Fair equity policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs in both the public and private sectors; and

WHEREAS, two bills before the U.S. Congress seek to address these concerns. The Paycheck Fairness Act would strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws, and The Fair Pay Act would require employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value; and

WHEREAS, April 24, 2007 symbolizes the day on which the wages paid to American women so far in 2007, when added to women’s earnings for all of 2006, finally equal the 2006 earnings of American men; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the City of Philadelphia proclaim their support for The Paycheck Fairness Act and The Fair Pay Act before the U.S. Congress; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Philadelphia calls on local employers to examine their compensation policies for gender inequalities and take steps to rectify any discriminatory pay practices; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council Committee on Gender Parity will consider holding public hearings on pay inequality in Philadelphia; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that April 24, 2007 be designated “Equal Pay Day” in the City of Philadelphia; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Philadelphia recognizes the efforts of the following organizations to eradicate gender inequality – the Coalition of Labor Union Women, WomenVotePA; WOMENS WAY; the National Organization for Women; National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., PA Chapter; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Omega Omega Chapter; the Women’s Law Project; 2000 African American Women; Working America; and the YWCA Philadelphia; and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, That an engrossed copy of the resolution be presented to the Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women to further express the sincere sentiments of this legislative body.

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco
April 26, 2007

(Note: Statistics contained in this resolution supplied by the National Committee on Pay Equity, unless otherwise noted.)


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