Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Labor Studies Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs Women's Studies

Challenges for Women Working in the Public Sector

Visiting Law Professor Karen Fernbach, Nora Higgins of the New York State Public Employees Federation; and Shital Patel of the New York State Dept of Labor

The Labor Studies Program is commemorating Equal Pay Day 2018 with a panel discussion on “Working Women in the Public Sector: Are Their Jobs at Risk?” This forum will look at the gender gap in jobs and pay in the public sector.

Women disproportionately hold jobs in this area of employment – teachers, nurses, social workers and other positions in government agencies, nonprofit organizations, international development initiatives and educational institutions.

Although women hold half of all government jobs, they make 10 percent less than men in the public sector, according to data on the median income of state and federal employees obtained by The Hatch Institute. In addition to the pay gap, men comprise 73 percent of civil service workers who earn $100,000 or more each year, the figures show.

Speakers at the Hofstra event include Karen Fernbach, visiting assistant professor at the Maurice A. Dean School of Law; Nora Higgins of the New York State Public Employees Federation; and Shital Patel of the New York State Department of Labor. They will address threats to jobs in the public sector, including the federal government’s movement toward deregulation and privatization. Also worrisome is the case of Janus v. AFSCME, which is currently before the Supreme Court. The justices will decide whether public-sector workers who do not belong to unions must still pay union fees. The court is expected to declare that these mandatory fees violate the First Amendment. Such a ruling would weaken unions by reducing revenue and limiting bargaining power.

The program will take place Tuesday, April 10, 11:10 a.m.-12:35 p.m. at the Guthart Cultural Center Theater, first floor, Axinn Library, South Campus. The event, co-sponsored with the Women’s Studies Program, is free and open to the public. For more information visit the Center for the Study of Labor and Democracy or call 516-463-5040.


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