ICYMI: Equal Pay Day

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019 marked Equal Pay Day. This is the average length of additional time a woman must work in order to make what a man makes in a year. So what an average man makes between January 1 and December 31, 2018, an average woman must work until April 2nd, 2019 to match. If we break down pay discrepancy by ethnic and racial demographics, the disparity becomes even more obvious.

The averaging together of all groups of our sisters, equates to 80 cents on the dollar. If we break it down, and compare wages to that of white working men, here’s what we get: our Latina sisters make 53 cents/$1, our Native American sisters make 58 cents/$1, our Black sisters make 61 cents/$1, our White sisters make 77 cents/$1, and our Asian sisters make 85 cents/$1.

Whether a woman has a child or not, impacts her pay. Mothers with full-time, year-round jobs are paid 71 cents/$1 of fathers.

If we fixed the pay gap, women overall would be able to pay for more than a year of tuition at a four-year public college, more than 13 months of child care, or seven months of employer-based healthcare premiums. The impact of pay inequality is greatly felt by working families across the country. This is not an issue that solely affects our sisters, this is an issue that affects every single one of us, regardless of your gender or ethnic identity.

The smallest pay gap between women and men is among our union sisters. Woman with collective bargaining agreements and union representation earn greater than 90 cents/$1 of a union brother, and if compared to non-union white men, union women make even more. The union advantage goes a long way toward achieving equality.

There are things we can all do to help narrow and close the pay gap. We can ORGANIZE our workplaces, and we can encourage and support our sisters, union and non-union, in the workplace in salary negotiations.

So, on June 10, 2019 we will observe Moms’ Equal Pay Day; on August, 2019 we will observe Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, on September 23, 2019 we will observe Native Women’s Equal Pay Day, and on November 20, 2019 we will observe Latinas’ Equal Pay Day.

Until Equal Pay Day for ALL women is December 31st, we all have work to do.