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Governor Bill Richardson’s Fair and Equal Pay Task Force Begins Work


SANTA FE-Governor Bill Richardson welcomed members of his Fair and Equal Pay Task Force at their inaugural meeting held this morning at the State Capitol. Governor Richardson created the task force to examine gender, ethnic and racial pay equity and job segregation within state government and to recommend specific solutions to eliminate gaps in both the public and private sector. 


The task force is chaired by Dr. Martha Burk, the Governor’s Senior Adviser on Women’s Issues, and includes business and union leaders, educators, lawmakers and members of the Governor’s cabinet.


“I am encouraged that our initial examinations of state agencies have found that we are doing a good job on pay equity,” Governor Bill Richardson said. “But a recent survey found that outside of state government, New Mexico women still lag far behind men in earnings, and that is unacceptable. We must do better to ensure that all New Mexicans have a fair shot at equal pay and job opportunities.”


The task force will build on the results of a recent, initial survey of six state agencies. It found that while nationally women make 77 cents to every a dollar a man makes, pay gaps in the departments studied were less than the national averages, not all gender pay gaps favored men, and gender pay gaps produced no apparent “glass ceilings.” The Governor’s Task Force on Fair and Equal Pay will:


Ø      Examine gender, ethnic and racial pay equity and job segregation within state government and recommend specific solutions to eliminate gaps.


Ø      Develop requirements for entities holding contracts with the state to study and remedy pay and equity segregation issues within their own businesses.


Ø      Develop a system for employers in the private sector to use to measure and remedy inequities.


The task force is scheduled to make its recommendations to Governor Richardson this Fall. 

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