SUPPORT OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES SALARY EQUITY
WHEREAS, many public employees who work in professional positions such as nurses, engineers, auditors and computer and systems programmers are paid significantly less than their private sector counterparts. On average, state employees in many professional positions make significantly less than their private sector counterparts, including the cost of their benefits; and
WHEREAS, many public employee positions are wholly or partially funded with federal funding; and
WHEREAS, the federal government through the Davis-Bacon Act had required that many private sector employees, including various classes of mechanics and laborers, be paid the prevailing wage if the project is wholly or partially funded with federal funding; and
WHEREAS, lower salaries for public employee professionals have created a recruitment and retention problem for these positions that will only get worse as the public employee workforce ages and retires; and
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to insure that there are adequate numbers of public employees to fill professional positions in order to insure that these services are not privatized. It is well documented that professional public work performed by the private sector often results in higher costs to the taxpayer and poorer services; and
WHEREAS, there are many unanswered constitutional and legal questions surrounding the issue of how the federal government can mandate state and local governments to pay certain salaries to public and private sector employees:
RESOLVED, that the AFT direct its Federation of Public Employees to form a committee on Public Employee Salary Equity, provide that committee with appropriate legal and other staff assistance and direct the committee to recommend to the 2004 AFT convention federal legislation and other strategies to achieve public employee salary equity.