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Phoenix exploring equal pay measure for contractors

PHOENIX — Tuesday was National Equal Pay Day and to recognize the need to stop discriminatory pay practices, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and Councilwoman Kate Gallego announced a new effort to ensure that city contractors paid with taxpayer dollars practice equal pay among men and women.

“I think it’s a very attainable goal,” said Kate Gallego.

The council freshman has been entrusted by Stanton to lead an effort over the next few months to draft an equal pay measure that better ensures fair pay in the workplace and includes mechanisms to enforce the policy.

U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics show, across the nation, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. Although it trails the District of Columbia in pay equity, Arizona has the smallest pay gap among the 50 states. Women earn about 86 percent of what their male counterparts earned.

“The fact that women are paid less for the same work as men is a strike at our core values,” said Stanton in a press release. “We have a responsibility to do something about it, and we can take the lead in Phoenix by making sure that companies who do business with the city pay equal wages for equal work.”

Gallego will present her recommendation for a council vote.