Today is Equal Pay Day, but rather than being a day to celebrate, it is a reminder of the continued work that is needed to reduce the wage gap between men and women in our country. Congressman Donald Norcross, our union brother, is an unwavering advocate for pay equity, and we encourage you to read and share his below op-ed, reinforcing the need to address wage inequality.
As you will read, this is not just a women’s issue, this is an issue that impacts our families as a whole. There are commonsense steps we can take right now to close the pay gap, and we are committed to working with our steadfast allies like Congressman Norcross to achieve justice.Read more
The New Jersey Supreme Court held oral arguments Monday in a case brought by public retirees over the indefinite suspension of cost-of-living adjustments to their pensions. The Senate and Assembly held full voting sessions, and advocates for gender pay equity held a press conference to urge the governor to sign the legislation.
Here is a rundown of the action:
COLA Case. Attorneys for public-sector retirees argued that cost-of-living adjustments are part of their pension benefits package to which they have a contractual right that cannot be taken away. Cost-of-living adjustments were eliminated in 2011, triggering the lawsuit. Lower courts have ruled in favor of the retirees. The case will be decided by June 30.Read more
Senate and Assembly committees met in Trenton on Monday. Here is a summary of the day’s legislative action:
Pay Equity (S-992/A-2750). The Assembly State and Local Government Committee advanced a bill designed to strengthen protections against employment discrimination and promote equal pay for women.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO has been a long-time advocate of equal pay for equal work, and we expressed our support for this bill in committee today. The party-line vote was 3 to 2. Democratic Assembly members Troy Singleton, Pam Lampitt and Nicholas Chiaravalloti voted yes. Republican Assembly members Michael Patrick Carroll and Jay Webber voted no.
The bill passed overwhelmingly in the Senate last month.Read more
By Laurel Brennan
During the month of March, we celebrate Women’s History by honoring the heroic deeds of the many women who have made life better for families through acts of selflessness. We remember such pioneers as Charlotte Forten, a Philadelphia teacher who was among the first to volunteer to educate newly freed slaves in the South; Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, who fearlessly fought for workers’ rights during the early 1900s; and Alice Paul, a New Jersey resident who was the strategist in the campaign for women’s right to vote.
As is evident from these examples, the struggle for women’s equality and economic justice often has been led by trailblazers in the labor movement. As the beneficiaries of their actions, we pay homage to our union and non-union sisters alike.Read more
New Jersey State AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Laurel Brennan made a strong case that “a union contract is the greatest pay equalizer” during an event announcing new state legislation to help close the gender wage gap for women.
Laurel was among the invited speakers at the event hosted by Senate President Stephen Sweeney and Democratic Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg. It was held to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed by President Obama to give women who were paid unfairly more time to seek a remedy.Read more