‘That ain’t right’: City Council Members rally to end gender pay gap

NYC Council Speaker Adrienne Adams
Council Speaker Adrienne Adams rallies with politicians and advocates on the City Hall steps to end the gender pay gap on March 15.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

City Council members rallied on the steps of City Hall Tuesday vowing to tackle New York’s continuing gender pay gap as women still earn less than men for the same job in the Big Apple.

The Council’s Women’s Caucus and advocates hailed recently-enacted laws aimed at making salaries more transparent, but politicians vowed to do more now that the city legislative body is majority female for the first time.

“We have much more work to do,” said Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, who is the first Black woman to hold the office. “Equity is one of the priorities for me a speaker and nowhere is this more of an issue than in the pay gap between women and men.”

The pols were joined by union leaders and the advocacy group PowHer outside the seat of city government on March 15, Equal Pay Day, the symbolic date representing how far into the new year women have to work to earn the same amount as their male counterparts for the previous year.

In New York State, women earn a little over 85 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to U.S. Census data. 

An August report by the Council found that among city employees, men have a median salary that’s $21,600 higher than women.

While that disparity shrank to less than half a percentage for people holding the same civil service rank and coming from the same demographic background, women of color still made less when adjusted for job titles.

Black female employees and Hispanic women made 1.9% and 1.5% less than white men in the same position, the Council study found.

“The loss of income, that ain’t right,” said Bronx Council Member Amanda Farías, who co-chairs the Women’s Caucus. “And the loss of income based on gender and racial discrimination is a tremendous setback, not only for women’s individual economic disparity, but for the overall recovery of the city.”

Bronx Council Member Amanda Farías, who co-chairs the Council’s Women’s Caucus, speaks out against the gender pay gap.Photo by Kevin Duggan

The city in January passed a bill which will require employers in the Five Boroughs to show salary ranges with job postings, which pols hope will help level the playing field.

While the politicos didn’t announce any new legislation or policies, Farías said that the many members of the Caucus leading Council committees will help get more bills passed to support equal wages.

“We are going through the legislative process right now to kind of reclaim any of those sponsor-less bills from previous sessions, so in the next couple of weeks, we’ll be finding out which ones actually get reintroduced,” the Bronx pol told amNewYork Metro.