Which SA Reps Support the Equal Pay Act?
Published: April 2, 2014
U.S. Senator John Cornyn also didn’t pledge support. For Texas, the median earnings for men amount to $44,802 compared to $35,453 for women. Overall, U.S. women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, according to U.S. Census figures. Studies show that even when other factors like marital status, education, hours worked, occupation, industry and college major are controlled, the gap still exists, signaling systemic discrimination.
San Antonio metro area women are also impacted by the pay disparity problem; on average, a woman in the Alamo City working a full-time job is paid $34,677 annually while a man with a full-time job is paid $40,828, meaning women in SA are paid 85 cents for every dollar a man earns—that totals a yearly gap $6,151, according to the National Partnership For Women and Families analysis of U.S Census Bureau data.
As a group, these San Antonio women lose approximately $1,928,516,879 each year due to the wage gap. The NPWF calculates that those funds translate into one year’s worth of food, up to five months of mortgage and utilities payment, eight months of rent or 1,742 additional gallons of gas per woman. And they point to the gap’s additional strain on economic security for the 120,642 households in SA headed by women—of those, about a third have incomes that fall below the poverty line.
San Antonio business owner and member of the National Association of Professional Women Tena Lyons-Wagner supports the Ledbetter Act. The CEO of a local resort says men in her field have been paid at least $20,000-$30,000 more than her, even though she could claim the same education and skills—a reality she “never understood.”
“It is always depressing that you sometimes do a better job and get paid less than your counterpart,” she says. “I always did more to prove I was as good or better and I worked harder than the males that I had competition at the workplace with … I started to lose the passion for what I love to do because I did not feel valued at work.”
To put a finer point on it, “We need to be able to provide for our families no matter who brings in the money. Equal pay for equal work,” she says.
Going forward, state leadership hopes to bridge the gap by taking the wage discrimination debate to the next level and prompting action. Last week, the Texas Senate Democratic Caucus—that includes your SA Dem senators Leticia Van de Putte, Carlos Uresti and Judith Zaffirini—wrote to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst requesting a study be conducted on pay equity at all state agencies and noting the failed attempt to address the issue by passing the bipartisan Act.
“There should be no controversy with the proposition that people deserve equal pay for doing the same job,” they wrote.
> Email Mary Tuma