Councilman David Salvatore (Ward 14) will tonight introduce an ordinance amendment that, if approved, will establish a new Equal Pay Task Force for the City of Providence. The task force would study best practices from other municipalities, collect and analyze data from City departments and contractors, and advise the City Council and Mayor with policy recommendations that promote equal pay for equal work.
“It’s unacceptable that working women in America are not compensated for equal work,” said Salvatore. “Our government has a moral and ethical obligation to ensure all Americans are treated equally in the workplace.”
According to the Economic Policy Institute’s State of Working America Data Library, women who worked full-time and year-round in 2016 earned 20% less than their male counterparts. Salvatore hopes to position Providence as a leader in closing that gap: “The City of Providence should model the highest standards of wage equality. The Equal Pay Task Force would take a comprehensive look at what’s working in other cities across the country and help us find practical solutions to implement best practices.”
The seven-member panel would monitor employment data from the City’s vendors and develop new data collection procedures for companies seeking City subsidies. A streamlined process, said Salvatore, would minimize the burden on companies gathering and submitting the data. The panel would also be required to report its findings to the Human Relations Commission, City Council, and Mayor each year, and determine if legislation is needed to implement any recommendations.