April 9, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—Teamsters with IBT Local 237, along with organizations such as the National Organization of Women and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, demanded Mayor Bill de Blasio fulfill a campaign promise to end a federal class action lawsuit against the city demanding pay parity for more than 5,000 school safety agents. Video
The case has been going on for over four years. Last year in March the union called on former mayor Michael Bloomberg, during a press conference at the local’s offices on 14th Street, to settle the case, but he didn’t. Fast forward to April 8, 2014, the union is calling on de Blasio to fulfill a promise he made during a mayoral forum on May 7 hosted by the National Organization of Women (NOW).
“I would settle that lawsuit immediately. There is no question. People who do security work deserve not only respect, they deserve equal pay. Absolutely, it’s a no-brainer,” said de Blasio as reported by the Chief-Leader on Monday, May 13, 2013.
According to the union, more than 5,000 current and former school safety agents, over 70 percent of whom are women, have joined what they say is the largest pay discrimination suit in the United States in order to remedy the fact that other peace-officer titles, over 70 percent male, receive $7,000 more in annual pay.
James Linsey, an attorney with Local 237, said during the presser, however, that the city’s law department is filing papers against the case in federal court.
"Just yesterday on April 7, 2014 the city’s law department, under the leadership of Zach Carter, filed papers opposing this case in federal court. That should stop,” said Linsey.
In an interview, Greg Floyd said he wasn’t disappointed that the mayor wasn’t at the press conference but disappointed that the local had to hold the presser. His reaction to Zach Carter filing papers to stop the case in federal court, Floyd said,
“I’m not angry, but I’m surprised. The mayor made a campaign promise that he would settle this lawsuit. He could not stand up and fight for any other woman’s issue and be taken seriously if he doesn’t settle this lawsuit.”
Follow Marc on Twitter firstname.lastname@example.org