EQUAL PAY FOR EQUAL WORK!
That issue seems to never die. Maybe it shouldn’t. I admit I have an interest in the issue as I have two daughters and this seems to be a women’s issue. I want them to have opportunities. I also admit that when I started my career in the 70’s that I knew of situations that were unfair to women in the big corporations where I worked for 20 years. So I see the reasoning behind the issue. But, I have some other thoughts on it too. I think the concept is valid for assembly line jobs or similar jobs where everyone does the same thing. I spent my career in a corporate environment and saw some jobs that were kind of like that, mostly in the operations areas such as check processing and other rote jobs. I think that most of these people would have been paid about the same. Some of the questions about equal pay that I have are:
• How do you define equal work? By units produced, time spent or what?
• Is everyone actually doing the same job?
• How do you measure job performance?
If you have a job where those things can be defined you may like equal pay with your co-workers. If your job is more complex you may prefer a free market approach. Who would want to be held back by the under performing co-workers?
Like small business we sell our services to our customer, which in our case, is our employer. Looking at it that way we want to provide the best service we can that gives the employer the most benefit. We compete with other suppliers (co-workers) to provide more services to grow our business. Like astute small business owners we compete fairly, don’t bad mouth competitors, and focus on customer service and maintaining a quality product. Our goal is to sell more with breadth of service and quality making ourselves a cherished supplier. We also stay aware of the market for our service with our current customer and maintain contacts and study markets for our product (transferrable skills) so we can keep our business profitable. Vendors (employers) can be fickle.
In my case I wanted to get promotions and raises so I could provide for my family, buy a home, car and other things. The only way that would happen is if I contributed to the company and produced. I am glad I wasn’t stuck in an “equal pay for equal showing up” environment as I didn’t want to be hampered by the poor performers in my sector.
I much prefer the concept of “equal pay for equal results”!