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Lexington City Council examining pay equity issues

Lexington Council General Government and Planning Committee hears pay equity report 10-17-23
Stu Johnson
Lexington Council General Government and Planning Committee hears pay equity report 10-17-23

Lexington City Council members have taken a deeper dive into pay equity issues involving well over a thousand employees. Both the administration and Council say there’s still work to do.

Urban County Government Human Resources Director Tamara Walters presented the comparison of employee pay by race, ethnicity, and gender report this week. She concluded by saying a previous study showed no statistical disparity within pay grades. Council Member Liz Sheehan said the issue still deserves attention.

“You don’t see a difference within those pay grades, which is important to note, but we do have work to do across pay grades and in those promotion opportunities,” said Sheehan.

Walters spoke about efforts being made to address issues through training for hiring managers, mentorships, and expanded employment advertising.

Vice Mayor Dan Wu asked Walters if there’s a way to get more women and minorities into higher pay grades through channeling opportunities.

“You know the goal is to make sure that all employees have that understanding, but yes we want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to move, because like I said, those opportunities are so few and far between, so we want to make sure employees are prepared to be able to move up into promotional opportunity positions,” said Walters.

Council Member Jennifer Reynolds said the number of Hispanic employees in the government was, quote, “super low.”

Chief Administrative Officer Sally Hamilton said there remains a lot of work to do. Hamilton says black, Hispanic, and female workers are sometimes locked in lower positions with no ability to move up.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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