October 2, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—One day before said reporter’s birthday in August, female school safety agents represented by Teamsters’ Local 237 learned from Mayor Bill de Blasio and their president, Greg Floyd, that they would be receiving the same pay as their male colleagues because the city settled a four-year old pay equity lawsuit.
So it was only fitting that the local hosted the Women’s Equality Party on Wednesday morning where they called on all elected officials running for office in New York in November to demand pay equity.
Former city council speaker, Christine Quinn, who was tapped by Governor Andrew Cuomo to lead the Women’s Equality Party, said just that at Wednesday’s press conference.
“We’re here today to very clearly say to everyone who is running for office in New York State this election—we as New York women and we as New Yorkers demand pay equity, we demand that the Women’s Equality Act get passed immediately in Albany,” said Quinn.
She was also joined by Public Advocate Letitia James, who said that equalizing pay between men and women would help to reduce the city’s growing income inequality gap.
“Income inequality is one of the greatest threats to economic recovery in New York. At the beginning of the year, I’ve committed to fighting for child care, early childhood education, after-school programs and paid family leave. We now have paid sick leave, and yesterday the mayor signed a living wage order. These actions go far to move us towards a more economically equitable society,” said James.
In the accompanying video, we interviewed Local 237’s president, Greg Floyd, to ask him why the local hosted the Women’s Equality Party press conference.
“Two reasons. One because it was appropriate because of our school safety agents’ pay equity lawsuit. That has become the mantra in this city, state and even the country for women’s pay equity. And two the Governor reached out to us and asked us to host it because of our landmark lawsuit settlement, and being a champion for women, we couldn’t refuse that,” Floyd said.
Standing behind said reporter and Mr. Floyd was a chart provided by the Women’s Equality Party showing that for every one dollar that men earn, women earn only 77 cents on that dollar.
The Public Advocate noted that it was even lower for women of color.
“It should always be noted that African-American women earn only 69 cents on the dollar, Latina women just 59 cents. Single women with children earn less across the board, and women in New York City earn only 82 cents on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.”