Comparable Worth Noting!
Posted by ptanji on February 3, 2011
Here in the great state of Minnesota, land of the free, the brave, and the frozen — we have a little known law called the Local Government Pay Equity Act (LGPEA). Passed in 1984 — its purpose is to address gender pay bias in local units of governments. Cities, counties, schools, soil and water boards, park and recreation boards etc. must produce a pay equity report for the Minnesota Management and Budget office once every three years. The process has been perfected and automated over the last two and half decades so that in many cases it takes about 1-2 hours to compile a report. The LGPEA continues to be controversial because some folks can’t stand the fact that women get raises as a result of pay equity statistical analysis. Every single year — without exception — women get pay boosts because pay bias is alive and well.
Minnesota’s LGPEA determines a jobs value based on know-how, problem solving, accountability, and working conditions – gender neutral criteria determined by the state. If local governments don’t like the state’s criteria for work values they can come up with their own. Once point values are determined, pay is apportioned accordingly.
Here’s an example of the law in action. This year, as a result of pay analysis, a human resource coordinator, in the town of Brainerd Minnesota, population 13,770 with a payroll of over 7 million dollars, got a $5000 pay increase. Opponents of the law throughout the state say the law is costly and outdated. But in the City of Brainerd’s case it cost them %.07 of payroll to be in compliance with the law. And, consistent findings of local governments with patterns of paying women less than men for jobs of similar point value prove the Local Government Pay Equity Act is neither costly or untimely. In fact, with a wage gap between men and women in Minnesota hovering around $.77 — its time for the private sector to take a look at what the public sector is doing. Ooooooooo I like the sound of that.