Legislature(1993 - 1994)

02/10/1994 03:00 PM House L&C

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
  Number 204                                                                   
  HB 145 - PAY EQUITY BASED ON VALUE OF WORK                                   
  DIANE LINDBECK, staff, Rep. Fran Ulmer, Prime Sponsor of HB
  145, testified that HB 145 has been before the legislature                   
  before.  She stated that it basically provides a mechanism                   
  for providing pay equity for public employees.  Ms. Lindbeck                 
  stated that when a job class is dominated by primarily one                   
  gender, they are not comparably paid.                                        
  MS. LINDBECK stated that in Alaska as well as the rest of                    
  the nation women on average are paid less than men for                       
  comparable work.  These wage disparities exist not just                      
  between individuals but between job classes.                                 
  MS. LINDBECK concluded by saying that passage HB 145 would                   
  set the standard for pay equity.                                             
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked what the difference was between pay                    
  equity and comparable worth.                                                 
  Number 250                                                                   
  KEVIN RITCHIE, Director, Division of Personnel/EEO,                          
  Department of Administration, testified that the system                      
  proposed in HB 145 classifies each job on the same list of                   
  factors.  Taking a certain number of job factors; i.e.,                      
  number of people supervised, consequence of error in                         
  judgement for example; you rank each job, equating pay, with                 
  how they rank on the same set of factors.  This is a more                    
  objective way of setting pay than the state uses right now.                  
  MR. RITCHIE believed the words comparable worth versus pay                   
  equity are the same thing.                                                   
  Number 275                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked about a study commissioned years ago                   
  to do the basic groundwork on how are existing system                        
  compared with providing equitable pay for all state workers.                 
  Number 284                                                                   
  MR. RITCHIE explained that the Department of Administration                  
  proposes to revise the Alaska Quantitative Evaluation System                 
  done in 1986, bringing it up to date and implementing it.                    
  Number 291                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked if the fiscal note provided is for the                     
  purpose stated above.                                                        
  Number 295                                                                   
  MR. RITCHIE responded yes.  He added that the Department                     
  strongly recommends that the committee consider the                          
  substitute provided that would accomplish the same end                       
  through a different vehicle.                                                 
  Number 325                                                                   
  DEBORAH TAYLOR testified via teleconference in support of                    
  HB 145.  Ms. Taylor gave as an example of pay inequity the                   
  male dominated grant coordinator position at a range 18                      
  versus the female dominated eligibility technician in the                    
  Division of Public assistance at a range 13.  She said this                  
  bill needs to be passed out of committee to lift the morale                  
  of those employees who are not receiving fair pay for                        
  comparable work.                                                             
  Number 356                                                                   
  RICHARD SEWARD, Alaska State Employees Association (ASEA),                   
  testified via teleconference in support of HB 145.  Mr.                      
  Seward stated that the ASEA is a national leader on pay                      
  equity.  Mr. Seward added that they have done studies in                     
  this area in Alaska and have found that a majority of jobs                   
  are segregated by sex.  He noted that 48% of all state jobs                  
  had 70% or more men, while 24% of all job classes had 70% or                 
  more women.  Of the 13,542 employees surveyed, 55% were men                  
  and 45% were women, but 39% of all state employees are now                   
  working in male dominated job classes and 32% of all                         
  employees are in female dominated job classes.  He stated                    
  there is a pay difference between the male and female                        
  dominated job classes.  Mr. Seward advised that a female                     
  earns 75 cents to the dollar earned by men.                                  
  MR. SEWARD related to the committee that his study showed                    
  that if no academic requirements are found in the minimum                    
  qualifications for a job, the woman will earn 72 cents to                    
  the dollar earned by the man.  If high school is required,                   
  the woman will earn 87 cents to the man's dollar.  If a                      
  technical degree is required, the woman earns 71 cents to                    
  the man's dollar.  With a college degree, the woman earns 87                 
  cents to the man's dollar.                                                   
  MR. SEWARD stated that ASEA strongly opposes the                             
  administration's proposal for two reasons:  1) it does away                  
  with collective bargaining, and 2) it will not benefit the                   
  women on the state payroll now.                                              
  Number 415                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON commented, if Mr. Seward had a plan that                     
  would show how to implement a pay equity plan without                        
  increasing the budget, please send it.                                       
  Number 420                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD replied that he would be glad to forward to the                   
  committee the experience gathered from other states.                         
  Number 439                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked Mr. Seward what the gender split in ASEA's                 
  membership was.                                                              
  Number 441                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD responded that within the general membership                      
  there was between 52 to 55% female.                                          
  Number 455                                                                   
  REP. WILLIAMS asked, when the study was done, did it compare                 
  the same types of jobs?                                                      
  Number 460                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD explained that the study looked at all job                        
  classes that required a college degree for someone to get on                 
  the list to be hired into that job and then it compared the                  
  pay of all the jobs classes requiring a college degree.  It                  
  was then divided up into those job classes where there was                   
  70% or more of the employees who were women compared to                      
  those classes where 70% or more of the employees were men.                   
  The only common characteristic was that each had to have a                   
  college degree to be hired; then the study compared the pay.                 
  Number 470                                                                   
  REP. MACKIE asked if they were the same jobs.  For instance,                 
  two people working side-by-side doing the exact same thing,                  
  with the male making more then the female.                                   
  Number 486                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD stated that if a job class is primarily filled by                 
  women, then the pay range is likely to be less then a                        
  similar job class filled primarily be men.                                   
  MR. SEWARD used the example of nurse practitioner largely                    
  filled by women versus physician assistants largely filled                   
  by men.  They generally do the same thing day by day, but                    
  the physician assistants make more money.                                    
  REP. PORTER asked why the union allowed the wage disparities                 
  to happen in the first place.                                                
  Number 514                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD responded that his predecessor took it to court                   
  and the Supreme Court ruled that everyone in the same job                    
  class had to be paid the same.  The law of the land is not                   
  comparable worth and the court couldn't do anything to help                  
  the women.  So the union came to the legislature for help.                   
  Number 522                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked if the union is or will be negotiating                     
  with the state on the positions that the union feels are                     
  Number 527                                                                   
  MR. SEWARD said the state is refusing to bargain on these                    
  proposals.  He added that the state does not have to bargain                 
  on which job classes they pay what pay ranges; they only                     
  have to bargain on the dollar amount given to the ranges.                    
  Number 550                                                                   
  THERESA ANDERSON testified via teleconference in support of                  
  HB 145.  She said many men and women who are the sole                        
  support of their families need pay equity.                                   
  MS. ANDERSON stated that the wage gap between men and women                  
  was even narrower in 1955 then it was in 1984.  This gap                     
  will never close until pay equity is the law.  The state                     
  budget should not be balanced on the backs of the females of                 
  the state or the males who are in the job classes dominated                  
  by females.                                                                  
  MS. ANDERSON noted that employers set wages using factors of                 
  which market value of supply and demand is only one.  Other                  
  factors include internal equity, pay progression methods and                 
  comparative structure.  The external market does not exist                   
  independently, it is created by wage setting decisions by                    
  employers with constraints placed on it by existing laws.                    
  She noted that, despite decreases in the supply of clerical                  
  workers and nurses in 1985, wages did not increase                           
  automatically for these jobs.                                                
  TAPE 94-10, SIDE B                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   
  MS. ANDERSON said the state continues to deny or explain                     
  away the differences between the wages between men and                       
  women, ignoring study after study.  The state finally                        
  proposes that women switch jobs if they want more pay.                       
  MS. ANDERSON concluded by saying that pay equity has been                    
  studied in the past but not implemented.  She suggested that                 
  the state doesn't need more studies, but needs to apply                      
  sound compensation principals to men's jobs as well as                       
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON asked if Ms. Anderson knew of any models the                 
  legislature could look at to help them in their                              
  MS. ANDERSON stated that she was not advocating lowering the                 
  male dominated wages; it is illegal, but there are states,                   
  such as Minnesota, that have implemented pay equity and have                 
  been very successful.  She added that the information is                     
  readily available.                                                           
  Number 075                                                                   
  REP. ULMER stated that HB 145 is modeled on the Minnesota                    
  law.  She added that federal law states that you cannot                      
  implement wage equity on the backs of someone else.                          
  Number 117                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked if there is a federal law on comparable                    
  Number 120                                                                   
  REP. ULMER responded that there is a federal law and they                    
  requested the states to pass and implement their own.                        
  Number 125                                                                   
  REP. PORTER asked Rep. Ulmer is she was aware of any suits                   
  brought in the states that challenged the situation that a                   
  generally similar qualification requirement in one class                     
  versus another class that has a pay equity problem is                        
  REP. ULMER responded that the State of Washington went                       
  through lengthy litigation regarding this issue.                             
  Number 134                                                                   
  DWYTE HUTCHINSON testified via teleconference in support of                  
  HB 145.  He stated that he is in a very dominated field; he                  
  feels that the responsibilities and technical work he is                     
  required to do is well beyond the level of pay he is at now.                 
  Number 155                                                                   
  BARBARA BINKER testified via teleconference that this issue                  
  is plain and simple one of fairness to everyone.  Ms. Binker                 
  supported HB 145.  She said women don't want back pay, they                  
  just want to be treated fairly.  Ms. Binker stated she wants                 
  to see her daughter be able to choose a career and make a                    
  comfortable living at it.                                                    
  Number 183                                                                   
  KATHY DIETRICH testified via teleconference that she is in                   
  support of HB 145.  She stated that the administration's                     
  proposal is more then just a change in the vehicle, it's a                   
  substantive change.  She explained that, currently, if your                  
  job class is determined to be improperly classed, then those                 
  in the job class would move to the new range, but they would                 
  take their present step with them to the new range.  The                     
  administration's proposal would eliminate that.                              
  MS. DIETRICH stated that it is past the time when women are                  
  going out to work for curtain money.  Most of the women in                   
  the work force today are doing it out of necessity.  But                     
  this is not a women's issue, she said, it is an issue of                     
  fairness for both men and women.                                             
  MS. DIETRICH expressed frustration at the thought of more                    
  studies being done.  She said, let's stop studying the issue                 
  and implement pay equity.                                                    
  Number 270                                                                   
  REP. MACKIE expressed support for this issue but admitted                    
  that at times it is confusing and he did not want his line                   
  of questions to be misconstrued to mean he was against the                   
  Number 300                                                                   
  MARLENE RICE testified via teleconference in support of HB
  145.  She stated that she was frustrated with having to show                 
  persons that make double and triple what she makes how to                    
  work the computer.  She has applied for jobs in the upper                    
  ranges only to come in second to a man.  Ms. Rice stated she                 
  wanted to know how come her sons, who just graduated high                    
  school, are making what she does after four years on the                     
  Number 333                                                                   
  CAREN ROBINSON, League of Women Voters, testified in support                 
  of HB 145.  She stated that in 1963 President John F.                        
  Kennedy signed into law the equal pay act guaranteeing women                 
  equal pay for equal work.  Now, 31 years later, women are                    
  still 30% behind men in earnings.                                            
  MS. ROBINSON stated that female dominated jobs are                           
  undervalued.  She added that this bias has to stop, and she                  
  believes it's time to stop studying it and do something                      
  about it.                                                                    
  MS. ROBINSON added that the state may find some savings in                   
  some aid programs if it would pay women fairly for the work                  
  that they do.                                                                
  Number 385                                                                   
  SHERRIE GOLL, Alaska Women's Lobby, testified in support of                  
  HB 145.  She stated that Margaret Mead, the noted                            
  anthropologist, has said that there was a pervasive social                   
  bias against the value of women's work and that it occurs in                 
  almost all human cultures.  In Ms. Mead's work she found                     
  many villages in which the women fish and the men weave, and                 
  what was similar in these villages was that the work done by                 
  women was less valued.                                                       
  MS. GOLL stated that the discrimination against women goes                   
  back to 1865 when the federal government bought its first                    
  typewriter.  Female clerks were paid $600.00 per year and                    
  male clerks $1200.00 per year.                                               
  MS. GOLL added that in the old days the reason given for the                 
  inequality was that the men were the bread winners, but as                   
  we know now, we have many families headed by women.                          
  MS. GOLL concluded by saying that the administration's                       
  proposal is basically the way the earlier bill was killed                    
  because it eliminates collective bargaining.                                 
  REP. PORTER asked what the basic differences were between                    
  the original bill and the administration's proposal.                         
  MR. RITCHIE answered that the vehicle was essentially the                    
  same.  The proposal is not a method of creating equity                       
  between the sexes only or identifying some jobs and raising                  
  them, it's basically a fundamental change in the entire                      
  classification system.                                                       
  MR. RITCHIE stated that one difference is that the study                     
  will be implemented under the administration's proposal.  He                 
  believes that a partial implementation is detrimental to the                 
  issue.  Lastly, the administration's proposal has a meet and                 
  confer type of relationship with the union rather then                       
  Number 500                                                                   
  REP. ULMER stated that the CS eliminates the ability of the                  
  union to bargain and would eliminate the ability to get any                  
  pay increases as a result of the pay equity determination.                   
  Number 503                                                                   
  REP. PORTER summed up what he believes the differences to                    
  be.  He said both approaches do a study and reach the same                   
  results; HB 145 would allow the study to be used in actual                   
  labor negotiations, as opposed to the administration's                       
  approach to meet and confer with the union, but the results                  
  of the study would be implemented in any event.                              
  Number 520                                                                   
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated he felt the committee had a good                      
  grasp of this issue.  He added that this issue seemed to be                  
  boiling down to the financing of the implementation and not                  
  any disagreement of the concept of the fairness issue.                       
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON gave a brief history of his dealings with                    
  job classifications and their pay ranges.                                    
  CHAIRMAN HUDSON stated that the question is, how do we                       
  determine what the new classes aught to be, what will be the                 
  cost, and how will we implement it?                                          
  Number 565                                                                   
  REP. MACKIE moved HB 145 with individual recommendations and                 
  a zero fiscal note.  No objections were heard; it was so                     
  TAPE 94-11, SIDE A                                                           
  Number 001                                                                   

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