Monday, June 2, 2014
VOLUME 7 (SCPR SERIES) GENDER DISCRIMINATION IN STARK COUNTY?
UPDATE: 02:50 PM
A SCPR READER WROTE:
FYI - I read your blog today, b/c someone told me you had done a piece on the Board of Health employees/board members. The Board of Stark County Commrs does not appoint members to the Combined General Health District Board of Health. It is the member cities, and the District Advisory Council. Thought you'd want to know.
I do appreciate the information.
Who are the member cities? Do the city/village council appoint or the the mayor/city manager?
Who constitutes the Advisory Council and how does one get to be a member (i.e. the appointing authority)?
Without looking up the statutes that apply, this combined health district was formed in 1962 per RC 3709.07. The current member cities are North Canton, Louisville and Canal Fulton. I believe their mayors have the authority to appoint the one member each they have on the Board. The District Advisory Council is made up of the villages and townships, and meets in March of each year. I think that each township has one representative ( a trustee), and the villages each have one, the mayor or a designee, I think. The Board is made up of 8 members: one from each city, four appointed by the District Advisory Council to represent different areas of the district, and one from the licensing council, which is a group composed of members of businesses the Board licenses, i.e., restaurants, landfills, etc. The terms are for 5 years. I hope that helps. If you need more info, you should really talk to Health Commissioner Kirk Norris.
The Stark County Political Report began a new series focusing on gender (equal pay for equal work) six weeks ago with Volume 1 with an examination of "the commissioners office," "the Stark County treasury" and "the recorder's office."
Five weeks ago in Volume 2 the perusal was of the county auditor's and prosecutor's office.
Four weeks ago (Volume 3 in this ongoing series) the look was at the clerk of courts office and the Stark County sheriff department.
Three weeks ago (Volume 4) the SCPR examined the Stark County Engineer's office and the Stark County coroner's office.
So far The Report has been less than impressed (in an overall sense) of how Stark County's elected officials are doing on the matter of gender equity.
And that experience squares up with the state and federal governments.
A primary document to be familiar with for anyone who cares whether or not American women are treated equally in the job market is in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. However, the fight for fairness for more than half the American population continues inasmuch as the fact of the matter is that the 1963 act has not resulted in pay equity for women.
Still, in 2014, on average, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that men are paid in the American workplace.
Of course, the law is one thing.
The underlying facts of the rampant discrimination and hardship that American women from the early 1600s on have had to endure and thereby necessitating the 1963 law is something that we all should familiarize ourselves with.
The SCPR recently completed reading Gail Collins' America's Women and recommends that readers of this blog series take time to read.
Anyone who thinks that our great nation has overcome this blight, needs to think again.
In 2009, population demographics showed that women outnumbered men 158.6 million to 151.4 million. And there is no reason that the tilt to a distinct majority women is not growing.
One danger in citing national statistics is that you, I and our neighbors might think that here in "good ole Stark County" there is very little if any gender employment discrimination going on.
Already, the SCPR believes that this blog's series is showing that the fact of the matter is that there are pockets of real and substantial differences in how men are paid depending on what department of Stark County government one is looking at.
Of course, the only place that information is readily available to assess is in government. There is no right to obtain data from the "private sector" as to what the pay scales are between males/females as there is in the public sector. Accordingly, we have no choice but to rely on national statistical studies to get a feel for what is going on locally among privately owned entities. And there is no reason to believe that the Stark County private sector varies significantly from the national scene.
As far as Stark County is concerned the blog of two weeks ago (i.e. the Court of Common Pleas, Family Court and the Public Defender's departments of Stark County government) showed complete turnaround from Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 in terms of women getting equal treatment in terms of pay and position.
But with last week's blog (9-1-1 EMA, the Stark County Board of Elections and the Veterans Service Commissioner) showed a reversion to a indication that women are not by and large seeming to get equal pay/opportunity in county employment.
And that trend appears to continue in today's treatment of the Dog & Kennel, Facilities and Health departments of county government.
DOG & KENNEL
As can be seen by the top heavy "blue" table, it it clearly a man's world at Dog & Kennel.
Jon Barber's predecessor was a female. However, her two year or so stint seemed to be plagued with a number of difficulties. It is impossible to know whether or not the problems she experienced, at least in-part, was a consequence of being a female leader in a man's world.
After one gets past top seven positions, employment pay/opportunity looks pretty equal.
STARK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
With the Stark County Health Department, the pattern continues.
Top pay/opportunity eschelon of employment go predominantly to men.
Another noteworthy factor is that only three of eleven board members are female.
In the originally blog, the SCPR erroneously ascribed the Stark County commissioners has being the appointing authority for board members. As readers know in reading to this point of the blog, the appointing authority is with various Stark County government entities and the Health Department Advisory Board.
Nonetheless, The Report urges the director of the Health Department to communicate to the numerous appointing authority the need to have from among them a rough equivalency between male and female board members.