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Agency Wage & Hiring Report-FINAL COVER
Tipping the Scales: Wage and Hiring Inequity in NYC Agencies

IN APRIL 2016, PUBLIC ADVOCATE JAMES issued a report addressing the wage gap in New York City. That report found that women in New York City earn about $5.8 billion less in wages than their male counterparts each year. In addition, the report found that the gender wage gap among City employees was three times as large as the wage gap in the private for-profit sector. Public Advocate James subsequently introduced legislation banning public and private employers from requesting salary history information during the employee hiring process, which was signed into law and went into effect in 2017. This measure is designed to help break the cycle of wage discrimination by not allowing employers to base salary offers on previous salaries that may have reflected underpayment.

Following that initial report, the Office of Public Advocate (OPA) sought to better understand and shed light on the gender-based hiring and pay practices of City agencies. Using publicly-available data from the City’s Office of Payroll Administration, in conjunction with data from the federal Social Security Administration, the OPA analyzed gender-based wage and hiring data for all City agencies. The results of the analysis demonstrate that although women lead roughly half of all City agencies, the hiring, training, promotion and retention of female staff appears to still be a significant weakness within the City workforce. Pay disparities exist within and across agencies, and can be linked to several factors including differing compensation for work traditionally associated with men or with women and the preponderance of women in lower paying jobs. While every agency is unique, the City-wide data spells out an unmistakable message that City agencies must be more proactive about ensuring that women are hired, paid, and promoted equally to their male counterparts.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Pay Inequity

New York Times, Feb. 3, 2018

CWA Local 1180's Gayl Johnson proudly represented the Union, Administrative Managers, and all women in the following New York Times interview about pay inequality amongst men and women performing the same jobs.

Early in her career, Jewelle Bickford, now a partner at Evercore Wealth Management, worked at a global bank in New York with a male colleague who was on his best behavior during the first half of the day, she said, but during and after lunch, his work ethic devolved. “When he came back, you would walk by his office, and he would have his head down,” Ms. Bickford said. “And you knew he had had quite a few drinks.”

At the end of the year, when bonuses were announced, a friend of Ms. Bickford’s who worked in human resources told her how much that male colleague had received. “It was many multiples of what I made,” Ms. Bickford said. “He stayed there. I left.”

It was a Monday in late January, and Ms. Bickford was at a table with four other women in a semiprivate room at Kiki’s, a Greek restaurant in the Chinatown neighborhood in Manhattan. They included Gayl Johnson, a director of administration in New York City’s Department of Sanitation; Alix Keller, the director of product technology at Hello Alfred, a home concierge service; Melissa Robbins, a Philadelphia-based political strategist; and Kimberly Webster, formerly a lawyer at a New York firm.

Read entire story here

Local 1180 and The Century Foundation Sign Collective Bargaining Agreement

February 2, 2018

The Century Foundation (TCF) and the staff union represented by the Communication Workers of America (CWA) are pleased to announce today that a collective bargaining agreement has been signed. Since voluntarily recognizing union membership in March 2017, both TCF and the staff union have worked closely together to reach an agreement that recognizes the important work and critical value of TCF’s staff, and builds on a mutual deep commitment to collective bargaining rights, fairness, and respect in the workplace. Today’s agreement is the culmination of that process, and is a testament to the dedication of TCF’s staff to the organization’s values, and to each other.

StoryCorps Employees Call on Management to Voluntarily Recognize Union,
Stop Anti-Union Campaign

Brooklyn, NY - A large group of non-managerial staff at StoryCorps is calling on management to voluntarily recognize their union, indicating that they have a majority who wish to unionize with Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 1180. The workers cited a commitment to StoryCorps’ mission to promote humanity’s stories for a just and compassionate world, and the need for equitable wages, job security, better benefits, and clarity and transparency around organizational changes.

Management at StoryCorps has not agreed to voluntary recognition, unlike many of their industry peers such as Democracy Now and Amnesty International. Instead, they pushed the staff into a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election, and have been running an active anti-union campaign. Since refusing the request for recognition, management punctuated an all staff summit with denunciations about the union, held mandatory anti-union meetings, and used a union-busting lawyer to dispute the workers’ petition to join CWA in front of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees have had to go to court to defend under testimony their work and value to the organization. Meanwhile, management distributed multiple anti-union emails to staff, labeling the union a third party and threatening not to make any changes through bargaining.

When employees attempted to represent their perspectives during these anti-union meetings, StoryCorps management refused to engage in dialogue, despite dialogue being the signature trademark of the organization. Justin Williams, Facilitator at StoryCorps, explained, “During these meetings, management made clear that they didn’t want us to have an equal voice to define the issues. That not only contradicts the principle of dialogue that StoryCorps embodies, but is symbolic of the power dynamics we are unionizing to correct.”

“We’re committed to making StoryCorps the best it can be. We believe in uplifting everyday stories, and hope management calls off the union busting so we can come to the bargaining table and address our concerns together,” said Alletta Cooper, Production Assistant at StoryCorps.

The employees on the front-lines, the ones that make it possible for hundreds of thousands of Americans to record and preserve the stories of their lives, are looking for dignity and respect on the job. Many are paid below market wages for their hard work, with the CEO making nearly five times the amount of some of the lowest paid employees. StoryCorps is a household name, most famous for its broadcast segment during NPR’s Morning Edition. At the grand opening of the first recording booth in Grand Central Terminal, the famous oral historian Studs Terkel, a mentor to StoryCorps and lifelong labor activist,implored the public listen to the stories of the workers -- "to celebrate the uncelebrated."

<>   Haley Shaffer, Senior Associate in Custom Services, says, “As the workers who keep the mission of StoryCorps alive, we’re just looking for recognition and respect for the important and influential work we do.”

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Local 1180 Sues City After Administrative Employees Discover They are Underpaid

On December 21, PIX11 broadcast a segment on Local 1180's ongoing fight to obtain equitable pay for women and minorities. To see the broadcast, click here.

For 33 years, Lourdes Acevedo has worked hard for the city, starting as a traffic enforcement agent and moving her way up to an administrative manager position. Her salary has climbed since she started, but over recent years she’s discovered she’s grossly underpaid, especially when you compare her $60,000 a year salary to the $125,000 a year salary her white male counterpart is allegedly making.

Sadly, it appears Acevedo is not alone. In fact more than 1,500 minority women who hold administrative managerial jobs across virtually every city agency are making similar claims. CWA 1180, the union representing these women, said they were left with little option and just last week filed a notice of claim against the city, demanding retroactive pay amounting to $243 million ... to read the entire story and to watch the broadcast, click here.