Consists of news clippings, correspondence, articles, ephemera and other materials related to the 1981 San Jose city workers
strike in support of equal pay for comparable worth.
Patricia Curia joined the staff at the San Jose Public Library in December 1971. She was a member of both the American Federation
of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME) Local 101, and Concerned Librarian Activist Workers (CLAW). She held
the position of Senior Librarian and Head of Reference Services in 1981 when City of San Jose employees, represented by AFSCME
Local 101, went on strike for equal pay for jobs of comparable worth. Curia was the library representative on the Hay Study
team that analyzed job duties and responsibilities of city employees prior to the strike.The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was a federal anti-discrimination law that made it illegal to pay men and women different salaries
for similar work performed in the same place. The term "comparable worth" is used to describe the concept that women and men
should receive equal pay for jobs calling for comparable skill and responsibility. In 1979, as part of its contract with the
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 101, the City of San Jose hired the firm of Hay
Associates to perform a comparable worth study of management and employees. The Hay Study found that while men and women in
the same jobs were paid equally, jobs dominated by women were paid 2% to 10% below the average for all city jobs, and male-dominated
jobs averaged 3% to 15% above the average.
In June 1981, AFSCME Local 101 tried to negotiate wage adjustments based on the findings of the Hay Study. When the City refused
to implement changes that would address the disparity between men and women's pay for comparable work, about 1,500 librarians,
mechanics, janitors and clerical workers of the City of San Jose went out on strike. The strike lasted ten days and ended
with a settlement that included equity adjustments for female-dominated jobs that had been deemed under-paid. It was the first
strike in history where a settlement included the issue of comparable pay.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives and Research Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote
from materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf
of the Labor Archives and Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission
of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.