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.