Editor’s Note: In keeping with the celebration of Labor Day, this item seemed especially relevant.

Two-thirds of New York City school safety agents are female, while most of their counterparts, “special officers” who work in public buildings such as hospitals, are male. Why does that matter? Because for years, school safety agents have earned an average of seven thousand dollars per year less than special officers—and their duties are essentially the same.

Back in 2010, the school agents’ union sued New York City, charging sex discrimination. Last week, that effort bore fruit . The sweet restitution: a contract agreement between government and union leaders, announced on Tuesday, August 26, Women’s Equality Day. As The Wall Street Journal puts it,

The union, Teamsters Local 23 [24,000 New York City employees who work in government agencies], will receive 10% raises over the course of the new, 7-year contract, as well as a $1,000 ratification bonus for each worker, Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Separately, the union’s school safety agents, totaling more than 5,000, will receive about $38 million in retroactive pay. That deal, which requires court approval, would settle a 2010 federal class-action lawsuit filed by the agents—two-thirds of whom are women. . . . Mr. de Blasio, who promised to settle the suit during his campaign, said the deal, which affords about $7,000 to every school safety officer on the job for at least three years, is “the morally right thing to do.”

When the union members and the courts approve the contract, yet another traditional, unfair pay distinction will be wiped off the books.

Read more: http://online.wsj.com/articles/contract-reached-for-new-york-city-school-agents-1409104462




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