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Women city workers reach settlement over unequal pay

CWA Local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes, center, speaks

CWA Local 1180 President Arthur Cheliotes, center, speaks at a rally at City Hall on Equal Pay Day, April 4, 2017. Photo Credit: Nicole Brown

Women city workers who sued the government for equal pay learned from their union leader for the first time on Tuesday that a settlement in their favor had been reached.

CWA Local 1180, representing over 1,000 women and minority administrative managers working for the city, filed a lawsuit in 2016, after the city ignored complaints about discrimination.

The city initially brushed off recommendations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it pay workers $245 million in back wages and compensatory damages.

Now, the city has come to an agreement, though it still needs to be approved by the Department of Justice. Neither the union nor the city's office of labor relations could immediately discuss the specific terms of the deal.

But the union's president, Arthur Cheliotes, assured that a structure has been set up “to make sure that women who were being told they should be paid in the mid-50s, who were doing work that men used to get paid in the mid-90s [for], start getting into the mid-90s.” 

“DOJ has the final say now, but we’ve negotiated what we can,” he added.

Cheliotes made the announcement about the settlement at a Equal Pay Day rally at City Hall on Tuesday.

Lourdes Acevedo, an administrative manager for the city's Department of Transportation who makes $60,000 compared to the $125,000 salary of a man in the same position, fought back tears after hearing about the deal.

“I don’t know what it is,” she said. “I can’t wait to find out.”

The NYC Law Department, who will negotiate the settlement with the Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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