Ending Gender-Based Wage Discrimination 1987 General Resolution

BECAUSE, Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as well as justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and

WHEREAS, the wage gap between men and women is one of the oldest and most persistent effects of inequality between the sexes in the United States and Canada; and

WHEREAS, the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act in the United States establish the legal right to equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity; and all Canadian jurisdictions have equal employment and equal opportunity policies usually embodied in a human rights code; and

WHEREAS, the concept of comparable worth attacks the problem of gender-based wage discrimination by mandating that jobs characterized by similar levels of education, skill, effort, responsibilities, and working conditions be compensated at similar wage levels regardless of the gender of the worker holding the job; and

WHEREAS, the goal of pay equity is to raise the wages for undervalued jobs held predominantly by women; and

WHEREAS, women of color bear a disproportionate burden of such undervaluation; and

WHEREAS, female-dominated jobs pay twenty to thirty percent less than male-dominated jobs classified as comparable in worth, and more than one half of all women work in jobs that are over seventy percent female, twenty-five percent in jobs that are more than ninety percent female; and

WHEREAS, the existence of pay inequity is a manifestation of deep-seated sex discrimination that prevents both equality of pay for women and equality of opportunity for both sexes; and

WHEREAS, much remains to be done toward implementing pay equity in both the United States and Canada;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1987 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association urges four actions:

  1. That all Unitarian Universalists inform themselves and educate others about the issues of comparable worth, pay equity, and gender-based wage discrimination;
  2. That the UUA and its affiliates, districts, and member societies act to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination in their own organizations; and that the UUA Board of Trustees report to the 1989 General Assembly the level at which the UUA and its affiliates, districts, and member societies are complying; and
  3. That all Unitarian Universalists and the Association urge legislators (at all levels from local to national) to study the potential impact of comparable-worth and pay-equity legislation on the many different types of public and private employers, and begin to enact such legislation starting with a focus on public employees; and
  4. That the Association cooperate with other organizations actively engaged in many different aspects of this issue.