March 20, 2014
Contact: Rebecca Acuña: (956) 206-5853
Wendy R. Davis for Governor Campaign
Women in Abbott AG’s Office Make Less Than TX State Average
Texas Women Make Average 79 Cents on the Dollar Compared to Men
Women in Abbott’s AG Office Make Average 74 Cents on the Dollar Compared to Male Co-Workers
Rep. Donna Howard and Annie’s List ED Garcia Blast Abbott’s Equal Pay Track Record at Capitol Area Democratic Women’s Luncheon
Austin, TX: Speaking at the Capital Area Democratic Women’s Luncheon, State Representative Donna Howard (D-Austin) and Annie’s List executive director Grace Garcia blasted Attorney General Greg Abbott for paying women less than men in the Attorney General’s office — while pledging to veto equal pay legislation that would help these women address this discrimination.
They also noted that the pay gap between men and women is larger in Greg Abbott’s office than the Texas average between men and women.
Statewide, Texas women make approximately 79 cents on the dollar compared to men. In Greg Abbott’s office, male employees make an average of $60,200 a year and women make $44,708 a year. That’s approximately 74 cents on the dollar compared to men.
“We can’t afford a governor who defends this kind of business as usual,” said Rep. Howard.
Abbott has avoided answering questions directly. But, yesterday, his campaign spokesman said that Abbott would would veto the legislation. Earlier this week, his surrogates said that women are “too busy” and need to be “better negotiators.”
“The reality for women in Greg Abbott’s office: you can have the same title as a man, you can do the same kind of work as a man, but you will still earn less than a man,” said Garcia.
Rep. Howard made clear that “women are not too ‘busy’ to fight for economic fairness for all hardworking Texans — regardless of their gender. I can assure you Wendy Davis is definitely not too ‘busy’ to sign the Texas Equal Pay Act the minute it hits her desk when she’s elected Governor.”
Abbott Would Veto the Texas Equal Pay Act
“A campaign spokesman says Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott would veto a measure to make it easier for women to bring pay discrimination lawsuits in state court.” [Associated Press, Chris Tomlinson, 3.19.14]
Abbott’s Office: Women Earn Less Than Men
“Looking at the 722 assistant attorneys general under Abbott, the average salary for 343 men is $79,464 while the average salary for 379 women is $73,649.” [San Antonio Express-News, Peggy Fikac, 3.19.14]
“… the top 20 highest-paid employees at the agency, just three are women, February salary figures provided to the San Antonio Express-News show.” [San Antonio Express-News, Peggy Fikac, 3.19.14]
“Overall, male employees make an average of $60,200 a year, and women make $44,708.” [San Antonio Express-News, Peggy Fikac, 3.19.14]
Abbott’s Surrogates on Equal Pay: Women are “too busy” and need to be “better negotiators”
Republican Party of Texas Executive Director Beth Cubriel on equal pay: “Men are better negotiators. I would encourage women instead of pursuing the courts for action to become better negotiators.” [Texas Capitol Tonight, Beth Cubriel, 3.17.14]
Red State Women PAC Executive Director Cari Christman on equal pay: “We lead busy lives, whether working professionally, whether working from home, and times are extremely busy.”[Inside Texas Politics, Cari Christman, 3.16.14]
Abbott’s Pay Raises
2005: Abbott took a pay increase from $92,000 to $125,000. [The Dallas Morning News, “Pay Raise Offer Puts Elected State Officials on the Spot,” June 30, 2005]
2007: Abbott took $25,000 pay raise from $125,000 to $150,000. [The Dallas Morning News, “Officials Beg Off Big Raises: Perry, 2 Other Leaders Decline Pay Hikes Dwarfing State Workers’ Meager Gains,” June 7, 2007]
Abbott’s Courtroom Battle Against Texas Equal Pay
Abbott Against Equal Pay for Women
“Abbott has voiced support for equal pay, but has not said whether he would have vetoed the state version of the federal Lilly Ledbetter law.” [Houston Chronicle, Peggy Fikac, 3.10.14]
“The limits of the federal protections are highlighted in a 2011 case in which the attorney general’s office, under Abbott, defended Prairie View A&M University in a state lawsuit brought by a professor who alleged discriminatory pay.” [Houston Chronicle, Peggy Fikac, 3.10.14]