Initiatives for a Stronger Community 2015
Initiatives for a Stronger Community is the Poloncarz Administration’s health and human services action plan for Erie County government based on the idea that it is unacceptable for a newly revitalized Western New York to leave behind significant portions of our community when we can effect positive change in their lives. As such, the plan outlines specific measures that Erie County government will undertake to improve the quality of life for residents in need. Initiatives for a Stronger Community is grounded in compassion and premised on two fundamental principles:
- County government represents everyone
- Government is an essential partner, and where appropriate, it can and should lead
The plan is divided into four sections that correspond with what County government can do to help build a stronger community and enable residents to thrive. The four sections are:
- Employment & Financial Security
- Strong Families, Strong Schools, Strong Children
- Lifelong Health
- Help Where and When it is Needed
Section one, Employment and Financial Security, is based on the premise that strong communities help individuals achieve financial security and self-sufficiency through good employment opportunities, affordable housing, and reliable public transportation. The Erie County Commission on the Status of Women is the lead department for Initiative 1.6 to Convent a Pay Equity Round-table.
More than fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act (EPA), working women continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay. Women working full time typically earn only 77 percent of what men earn. For African-American women and Latinas, the pay gap is even greater. Data obtained by the 2010 Census reveals that in Erie County, women comprise 52.41 percent of the population and 59.48 percent of the labor force. Yet the median individual income for males in Erie County is $34,544 vs. female median individual income in Erie County of $25,226 –reflecting a difference of over $9,000 per year that men earn more than women. Moreover:
- almost 30 percent of families in Buffalo live in poverty and 63 percent of those families are headed by women; and
- families comprised of one adult, one preschooler and one school-age child need to earn a total yearly income of $47,262.00 just to meet basic needs.
In order to inform the public about the problem of pay equity, the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women will host and facilitate a roundtable discussion of representatives from various organizations and agencies that represent and/or serve women from different educational, socio-economic and experiential backgrounds in Erie County. The goal of the discussion would be to determine how the issue of pay equity impacts each of these unique cohorts differently with the intention of identifying specific strategies, trainings, and tools that would educate and empower each group of women to achieve fair job compensation. Information gathered at the discussion will be disseminated to women throughout our community through numerous partnerships.
On April 14, 2015, the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women will also hosted and facilitated a roundtable discussion of representatives from for profit businesses and not for profit organizations to discuss their approach to abiding to the EPA within their respective organizations. The outcome of the discussion was to invite organizations to audit their company’s response to the EPA and to encourage companies to conduct salary audits to proactively monitor and address gender-based pay differences, as a good business practice. In addition, the Commission on the Status of Women will strive to identify individuals that would serve on a committee as ‘pay equity consultants’ to local organizations that want to review their compensation policies.
July 15, 2015
CONTACT: Peter Anderson / Peter.Anderson@erie.gov
Phone: (716)858-8500 / Mobile: (716) 270-7842
POLONCARZ STATEMENT ON ECIDA PAY EQUITY POLICY PASSAGE
Board Approval by 12-3 Vote Positions ECIDA as Statewide Leader on Issue
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement pursuant to the Erie County Industrial Development Agency’s (“ECIDA”) board passage of a Pay Equity Policy to address wage discrimination in companies seeking inducements. The policy, approved by a 12-3 ECIDA board vote, seeks to reinforce existing equal pay law and ensure that vendors seeking tax incentives pay their male and female employees equally for equal work.
Poloncarz said, “I am very proud of my fellow ECIDA board members for taking this first-of-its-kind Pay Equity action by any industrial development agency. We as a community must not tolerate wage discrimination based on gender, and we should never give a tax break to any company that does. Today’s action by the ECIDA board is a statement that we as a community can do better, and we will not tolerate pay inequity. I thank the Policy Committee for their hard work in developing this policy and the Board for their approval vote today.””
A .pdf of the Policy is attached.
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