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Local News

April 8, 2013

Pay gap narrow, not gone, in Oneonta

City near top in report on men's, women's earnings

Oneonta is No. 13 in a ranking of cities with the lowest pay gap between men and women, according to a study by an online company.

The ranking is good news to be taken with a grain of salt, a labor analyst said last week. But a local personnel manager expressed delight over the finding, which was based on census figures and released in time for “Equal Pay Day’’ on Tuesday.

For Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, NerdWallet, an online business, compiled lists of cities with the lowest gender pay gaps and of occupations with the largest and smallest gender pay gap. 

“We’ve been working at Hartwick to close that gap,’’ Suzanne Janitz, director of human resources at the Oneonta college said. The college has been taking steps for about four years to improve salaries, supported by the board of trustee’s 2011 approval to raise all salaries to the median salary of similar private four-year colleges, she said. 

Hartwick will continue such efforts, she said, because gender pay gaps result in poor morale, employee departure and discrimination. 

“We want equity,’’ Janitz said. 

Of the college’s staff of about 415, including 112 faculty, a few more than half are women, she said, and seeing Hartwick’s work reflected in the No. 13 ranking is “delightful.’’

The city’s position in the top 25 in a ranking of the 943 cities with the smallest gender pay gap is based on median earnings of full-time year-round workers at $37,429 for men and $33,505 for women, NerdWallet said. Based on those figures, a woman’s pay is 89.5 percent of a man’s earnings in the same occupation in Oneonta.

Tuesday is designated as “Equal Pay Day.’’ The date, April 9, symbolizes how long into 2013 women must work to earn the same amount men earned in 2012, the National Committee on Pay Equity website said. The NCPE, a coalition founded in 1979 of women’s and civil rights organizations, originated Equal Pay Day in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. 

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