City workers who are white and male are making more money than their counterparts employed by the city, according to a new analysis of payroll data released by the City Council on Thursday.
The disparity is the deepest for Hispanic and Latino municipal employees. Non-Hispanic and Latino workers make $8,700 more per year than Hispanic and Latino workers, the analysis shows.
Black city workers make $7,600 less per year than white workers. Asian city workers make $6,500 less than white workers.
Men earn, on average, $4,500 more a year than women.
"These are damning, damning statistics," City Council Speaker Corey Johnson told reporters during an unrelated press briefing on Thursday. "It's easy for folks to stand up and say, 'pay disparity is wrong, pay disparity is bad, the federal government needs to do this.' Well, now we know because of the law we passed, and because of this data, it's been happening for years, in seemingly a systemic way."
The analysis, first reported by the NY Daily News, was the result of a 2019 law requiring annual data on the city's workforce be provided to the City Council for an analysis of pay based on gender, race, and other information.
The law, however, notably omits pay data information on elected officials like city councilmembers and multi-member bodies like agencies' boards or commissions.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused delays of the release of this data until this month. The City Council's preliminary analysis is the first of a "deeper" dive expected next year with more information on job titles, experience, education, and previous jobs, according to the City Council.
The analysis was gleaned from 180,000 salaries from full-time city workers of dozens of agencies, from transportation and parks to finance and sanitation. The city's entire municipal workforce at the end of fiscal year 2019 reached nearly 327,000, according to the Citizens Budget Commission.
The City Council passed the pay equity data law after a years-long legal battle in which the Communication Workers of America Local 1180 sued the Bloomberg administration over systemic underpayment of women and people of color under the "administrative management" title. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found "structural and historic problems" that led to women and people of color being paid less than white men in similar jobs and recommended hundreds of millions in back pay. The settlement between the union and the de Blasio administration was finalized in July 2019.
"There is a history in New York City and this country where women and women of color have experienced racism, sexism, and all the other -isms that have led to them being denied equality on the job in both pay and status," CWA Local 1180 president Gloria Middleton said in a statement. "Systemic bias in a city our mayor calls progressive is unacceptable. It’s also unacceptable that those in power who are able to set policies to address these problems refuse to do so. We implore Mayor de Blasio to commit to seriously addressing pay parity once and for all."
"EVERYONE deserves equal pay for equal work. Period," Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote in a tweet in response to the analysis.
The mayor ordered the Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity—convened in April and led by First Lady Chirlane McCray—as well as the Commission on Gender Equity to "examine the issue" and come up with recommendations by early next year.
McCray said she's "thrilled" to work on the issue.
In response to questions about what action the City Council would take, Johnson said: "We have to see how insidious this has been and then figure out our path forward."
The de Blasio administration's review of pay inequity would look at city policies and could result in recommendations for both the public and private sector, according to City Hall.