Pasadena Minorities Gain in City Job Force

Times Staff Writer

Women and minorities, although present in significant numbers in the city's work force, occupy lower-paying jobs and are often under-represented in professional categories, according to a staff report discussed at a Board of Directors meeting this week.

The report comes two weeks after minority leaders accused the city of racism in minority hiring and promotions at a meeting attended by 200 people at Jackie Robinson Park.

The report, prepared by Affirmative Action Administrator Ramon Curiel, appeared to provide ammunition for those displeased with the city's affirmative action efforts, although others praised the city's performance.

"We're going in the right direction but it's at a snail's pace," said Director Rick Cole at Tuesday's meeting.

According to Curiel's survey, of the city's 1,606 employees, 33.5% are women, 25.1% are black, 18.6% are Latino and 5.9% are Asian. Minority women are counted in both the women and minority categories.

These percentages equal or exceed the percentage of such groups in the general Los Angeles area labor force and compare favorably with the percentage of women and minorities in the Pasadena population, the report concludes. Women make up 50.7% of the city's population, blacks 13.8%, Latinos 22% and Asians 6%.

But minority salaries were largely concentrated in ranges under $43,000 annually, while women generally earned under $33,000.

More than half of the city's 522 female employees earned less than $33,000 yearly. The greatest concentration, 180 women, earned between $20,000 and $24,900.

Among the 173 city workers earning $50,000 or more, 32 were women, 21 were black, nine were Latino and nine were Asian.

The report pointed out that minorities and women were under-represented in many city departments in higher-paying paraprofessional, professional, administrative and technical categories.

In analyzing promotions, the report concludes that the city is doing well. Of the 313 employees promoted during the 1989 fiscal year, 41.9% were women and 60.4% were minorities.

But Cole pointed out that 64 of the women promoted were in office and clerical jobs, where no men received promotions.

"It tends to skew the numbers," he said.

The report also noted that women and minorities do not face a "revolving door syndrome" of rapid hiring and firing because city statistics show a low termination rate for them.

But Cole again questioned the data, pointing out that the city had failed to separate firings from retirements.

Director John Crowley praised the city for the "considerable success achieved" compared to past years. But Curiel said more remains to be done.

"Where we are now is the third generation of affirmative action planning," Curiel said. "We are no longer involved in a numbers game, but in a qualitative improvement."

Lance Charles, chairman of the city's Affirmative Action Commission, agreed, saying the city must work now on ways to promote minorities and women.

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