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Study to examine city pay practices

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A study has been ordered to take a closer look at how the city's 12,000 employees are paid. The study is part of a resolution unanimously passed Thursday at city hall about equal pay.

Sponsored by Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole the resolution adds federal and state legislation about equal pay to the city's legislative agenda. It also instructs City Manager Marc Ott to examine the city's compensation practices and ensure law qualifications are taken into consideration and not race, gender or ethnicity.

Cole says the city strives to be a model employer.

"I think the issue of having equal pay between men and women is critical for us to function as a just society," said Cole.

According to the National Partnership for Women and Family finds in Austin for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns $.83 cents. The disparity according to the resolution is greater for minorities.

"We expect there will be some disparities but there will also be recommendations on how to alleviate and we can take that into the larger community," explained Cole.

Jim Harrington with the Texas Civil Rights Project says the city study is a good thing,

"You would think in this day and age this would be a no-brainer but we see this pattern of historical discrimination in our society and our economy," said Harrington.

Cole expects a report back relatively soon but there is no set date.

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