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San Antonio Says There Are No Pay Disparities Among City Employees

City of San Antonio
The San Antonio' City Council Governance Committee on Wednesday discussed pay disparities at the request of Dist. 7 Councilman Cris Medina.

A new study completed by the city's human resources department shows there is no pay disparity between male and female employees who work for the city. District 7 Councilman Cris Medina requested the city take a look at potential pay disparities.

On Wednesday, Joe Angelo, chief human resources officer, went before the council's governance committee, and said there is no systemic evidence that pay disparities exist within the city.

He said that 80 percent of the city's employees, including public safety personnel, are part of programs that follow prescriptive pay plans. The remaining 20 percent make up executives, professionals and manager jobs, and he said those positions are driven by market values.

"What they bring to the table -- education, experience, subject matter expertise -- gives [them] some level of flexibility in their ability to negotiate," Angelo said.

The study shows that men make up nearly three quarters of the city's workforce overall.

When looking at the professional employee category alone, 45 percent are men making an average of $56,100. It shows 55 percent are women making an average of $50,500.

In this category in particular, 11 pay ranges show that men make more in nine of them. Angelo said in some cases, women do make more. Mayor Julián Castro, who chairs the governance committee, told Angelo that on the face of the issue, there is a concern about pay gaps between men and women with comparable experience and education. Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran said perception is everything.

"It still on the surface looks like there's disparity and if it looks that way, then there is," she said following the meeting.

Angelo said the city has a commitment to pay equity. City Manager Sheryl Sculley echoed those sentiments, and said she has seen no problem with women being able to negotiate the same, if not better, than many men when it comes to jobs and salaries. But she also said that the reality is men and women perform different functions, and that sometimes women take time away from work for their children and family.

Angelo concluded the meeting confidently.

"Once you consider their education, their experience, their performance, their job scope, there's no systemic evidence of pay disparity," he said.

Councilman Diego Bernal suggested there may be some things the city is doing right to amplify or duplicate that may help the city better meet the city's goal of equal pay.

Ryan Loyd was Texas Public Radio's city beat and political reporter. He left the organization in December, 2014.