Monday, April 23, 2007

Equal Pay Day

April 24th is Equal Pay Day, declared such by the American Association of University Women which strongly supports efforts to close the persistent wage gap between men and women. AFSCME Local 965 joins their effort to remind the country and our leaders that equity is still an issue, and equal pay is essential in eliminating wage discrimination.

New research released today by the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation shows that just one year out of college, women working full time already earn less than their male colleagues, even when they work in the same field. Ten years after graduation, the pay gap widens. This is not good news for UA women students.

In the report, Behind the Pay Gap, the AAUW Educational Foundation found that just one year after college graduation, women earn only 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Ten years after graduation, women fall further behind, earning only 69 percent of what men earn. Even after controlling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors known to affect earnings, the research indicates that one-quarter of the pay gap remains unexplained and is likely due to sex discrimination.

The reality of wage discrimination against women at the University of Arkansas was made abundantly clear last week in a report to the Faculty Senate. Women faculty members make less than their male colleagues at every academic rank--from instructor to full professor. Among faculty hired in recent years at the Assistant Professor level, women faculty make only 83 cents for every dollar paid to male faculty.

This practice of sex discrimination must stop. The UA Administration owes women faculty an immediate explanation of why they are paid less, and Chancellor White should move immediately to assure pay equity for women.

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