For Immediate Release
December 16, 2015
“Mind the Gap” Press Conference Highlights Need to Battle Pay Discrimination
Taxpayers, advocates declare support for enforcement of new Pay Equity Policy before ECIDA Board meeting
BUFFALO, N.Y. — “Pay equity” means equal pay for equal work. It’s the law. Fair and simple, right?
It’s not so simple in Erie County, where the struggle remains to bridge the gender wage gap in local workplaces. More than 50 years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, local working women and their counterparts across the country continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay.
Under the name “Mind the Gap” — referencing the gender wage gap that keeps women earning just 77 cents for every dollar that men make for the same jobs — a press event hosted today by Open Buffalo drew attention to the importance of the enforcement of the new Pay Equity Policy implemented by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA). At the event, held outside ECIDA offices, a collection of employers, labor leaders, and workforce developers declared that they will no longer stand for bad business practices that perpetuate poverty and further income inequality, especially those subsidized by their tax dollars.
“Buffalo cannot and will not succeed unless all of Buffalo has a chance to succeed,” said Franchelle Hart, Open Buffalo Executive Director. “Today is a sad day. It is sad that in 2015 we are still fighting for a law to be enforced that was passed in 1963.”
Megan McNally, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Foundry, said, “The ECIDA’s no-brainer Pay Equity Policy codifies what I and those who support ‘High Road Economic Development’ firmly believe — that men and women who do the same or similar work should be compensated equally, and employers should be prepared to prove it.”
Hart, McNally, and others at the event are allies working to spread “High Road Economic Development” in Buffalo — a mindset and practices that put people, our neighborhoods, and equality first.
Speaking to the undervalued labors of women, AnnaGeronimo of the Coalition of Labor Union Women and New York State United Teachers said, “Pay equity is vital to the Erie County economy. Working women in this region work just as hard as their male counterparts to put food on the table.” She added, “Fair and equal pay for women will undoubtedly improve the economy overall, making Erie County a better place to live.”
Addressing recent unfounded challenges to the enforcement of the ECIDA’s Pay Equity Policy, Hart said, ““Pay equity isn’t a feel good thing. It is law.”
Open Buffalo is a community movement for social and economic justice. As one of its key initiatives, Open Buffalo convenes a High Road Economic Development Table, comprised of community-builders, business owners, and neighborhood groups from across Buffalo. For more background information, visit www.openbuffalo.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Max Anderson, Director of Communications for Open Buffalo, at (716) 292-4995, or firstname.lastname@example.org.