April 16, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Washington, DC — American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. has called on President Obama to close the gender pay gap by hiring more federal employees to take on work now performed by contractors. Women in the federal government on average make 11 cents less on the dollar than their male counterparts, compared to nearly 20 cents less in the private sector.
"The federal government sets pay on the basis of the job being performed, compared with the more subjective pay systems used by non-union, private-sector firms," Cox said. "Simply by bringing more work in-house, President Obama could cut the gender pay gap in half."
The gender pay gap in the private sector also is skewed by the outrageous salaries paid to CEOs and other executives, most of whom are male. Late last year, Congress lowered the amount the government may reimburse federal contractors for an employee's annual pay from $952,308 to $487,000. Still, the cap is more than double the salary earned by the vice president and Cabinet secretaries.
"Federal taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying contractor CEOs double the salary earned by our government's top officials – especially when that only perpetuates the gender pay gap that exists in the private sector," Cox said. "Let's lower the executive pay cap, bring more contracted work in-house, and focus on ensuring that our hardworking federal employees earn equal pay regardless of their gender."