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NO. R-341. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO COMMEMORATING EQUAL PAY DAY.

(J.R.S. 111)

Offered by: Senator Backus of Chittenden County, Senator Ankeney of Chittenden County, Senator Bartlett of Lamoille County, Senator Chard of Windham County, Senator Cummings of Washington County, Senator Kittell of Franklin County, Senator Munt of Chittenden County, Senator Ready of Addison County, Senator Riehle of Chittenden County and Senator Rivers of Windsor County.

Whereas, despite significant efforts to equalize the pay of women with their male counterparts, there remains a gaping and substantial difference between the pay earned by members of each gender, and

Whereas, evidence of the continuing gender disparity in pay was exhibited this winter when the U.S. Soccer Federation finally, after protracted protests, agreed to a new contract with the women's U.S. Soccer team that raised their per game pay from $250.00 to $2,000.00 per game, the rate paid to their male counterparts, and

Whereas, while a number of factors contribute to the gender disparity, including the large percentage of women in sales, clerical and service jobs, the largest part of the problem, according to studies conducted by the National Committee on Pay Equity, is attributable to discriminatory pay practices, and

Whereas, the existence of these discriminatory pay practices has prompted the President to request additional funds for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to intensify its efforts to combat wage discrimination, and to the U.S. Department of Labor to expand career information directed toward women, and

Whereas , in the U.S. Congress, efforts to assure that equal pay for equal work is practiced throughout the land and effectively enforced are focused on two significant pieces of pending legislation, the Fair Pay Act, H.R. 1271 and S.207, sponsored in the U.S. Senate by Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, and in the U.S. House by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and the companion Paycheck Fairness Act, H.R. 54 and S.74, sponsored in their respective legislative bodies by U.S. Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota and U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, and

Whereas, these bills promoting basic compensation equity have broad support, and

Whereas, the average woman who retires can expect only half the pension benefits of the average man, and

Whereas, as a spur to promote public awareness of this continuing problem, May 11, 2000 has been designated as Equal Pay Day, and

Whereas, this date was selected by subtracting the 1998 average woman's salary of $25,862.00 from the average man's salary of $35,345.00 which results in the sum of $9,483.00, or 37 percent, meaning 135 days are required for an average woman to recover the difference in pay, and

Whereas, the goal of equal pay for equal work, and the battle against wage discrimination, must continue to be a priority for us all, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly, in commemoration of Equal Pay Day reaffirms its continuing support that all workers, regardless of gender, should be compensated at equal pay levels for equal work, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Governor's Commission on Women, to the Vermont Business and Professional Women and to the members of the Vermont Congressional Delegation.