For Immediate Release: Contact: Phyllis Shafran
May 5, 2014 646-638-8501; 347-947-0102
Lilly Ledbetter, the tireless advocate for equal pay, whose historic Supreme Court case led the way to the Fair Pay Act of 2009—which bears her name—will join Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd; City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Public Advocate Letitia James; Sonia Ossorio, President of the New York City Chapter of National Organization for Women; and Mary Lou Urban, Co-President of the League of Women Voters, at a rally in support of resolving the pay disparity of school safety agents.
FRIDAY, MAY 9th, 11AM, Steps of City Hall
More than 5,000 current and former school safety agents—over 70 percent of whom are women, mostly African-Americans and Latinas—have joined the gender-based wage discrimination lawsuit, initiated during the Bloomberg Administration, which is the largest pay discrimination suit in the United States. They seek to remedy the fact that other peace-officer titles—which are over 70 percent male—receive $7,000 more in annual pay. Teamsters Local 237 represents the school safety agents, repeatedly tried to address this 20 percent pay inequity through contract negotiations with the City's Office of Labor Relations, but the City refused to address the issue under the former Mayor.
Worked as a supervisor for the Goodyear Tire Company for 19 years and was being paid less than her male counterparts. Lilly was unaware of the pay disparity until she received an anonymous note in her mailbox. Lilly brought a discrimination complaint to the Equal Opportunity Commission and won. But in a series of appeals by Goodyear that made its way to the Supreme Court, the favorable decision was reversed on the grounds that she should have filed her claim sooner. After the decision, legal groups and House Democrats worked to introduce legislation to right this injustice. On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed his first piece of legislation: the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. A movie is currently being made about her life as depicted in her book-Grace and Grit: How I Won My Fight with Goodyear and Beyond.
Teamsters Local 237 represents over 24,000 municipal employees in New York City and on Long Island, including about 5,000 school safety agents in all public schools throughout the City of New York. The union is affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, founded in 1903, representing more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Its General President is James P. Hoffa.