Joined by business, education, nonprofit, and community leaders from all over Montana, Governor Steve Bullock announced today the creation of an Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force, co-chaired by Commissioner of Labor & Industry Pam Bucy and Department of Administration Director Sheila Hogan.
"Fifty years ago this week, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law," said Bullock. "In 1963 women were paid 59 cents for every dollar that men were paid for the same work. In 50 years, we've only managed to close the wage gap by 18 cents to 77 cents nationwide, and we have a long way to go."
Governor Bullock has charged the Task Force with gathering information, furnishing advice, and providing recommendations on policies and actions to ensure that Montana workers earn equal pay for equal work, regardless of gender. This Task Force will work to make Montana an equal pay leader that sets national standards for public-private policy partnerships on closing the wage gap.
"Montana women earn only 67% of what men earn, putting Montana at 39th place for pay equity in the nation," said Bullock. "I'd match the Montana work ethic up against any other state in the nation, and 39th place for pay equity is unacceptable."
The Governor's Executive Order sets forward a clear path forward to achieve lasting, positive change for Montana working families. The Task Force's objectives will include studying the magnitude and underlying causes of Montana's wage gap, developing a pay equity self-audit for public and private employers, promoting education and training opportunities for Montana women, and gathering public input for policy recommendations that will help to close Montana's wage gap.
"We know that it's not enough to bring new business and jobs to our beautiful state; we need to make sure those jobs are high-paying, quality jobs--jobs where Montana women and men alike earn a fair day's wage for a fair day's work," said Bullock. "This Task Force will strive to support all Montana workers in achieving paycheck fairness, because when Montana working families prosper, our state prospers. "