City Council OKs Comparable Pay Raises for Women

The Los Angeles City Council on Friday gave its expected approval to an agreement that will bring the salaries of 3,900 women in lower-paying city jobs up to the pay level of men holding jobs considered to be of comparable worth.

The agreement, settling a long dispute on the issue, was ratified by a 12-1 vote. It still must be signed by Mayor Tom Bradley, who supports the plan.

Only City Councilman Ernani Bernardi opposed it. A longtime foe of the comparable worth concept, Bernardi said: “Are we going to start comparing a clerk with a plumber now? A lot of plumbers don’t even have a high school education, yet they make a lot more than clerks.”

Councilman John Ferraro countered: “There is no question this is long overdue and equitable.”


Will Cost $12 Million

Under the agreement, which will cost the city $12 million in salary increases, women will get raises averaging 5% a year over a three-year period. The impact will be mainly felt in female-dominated jobs, such as secretaries, clerks and librarians.

For example, the pay range for a clerk typist will go from $1,199-$1,411 a month to $1,316-$1,635 a month.