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Houston Breakthrough 1980-04
Page 5
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Houston Breakthrough 1980-04 - Page 5. April 1980. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. July 10, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4490/show/4468.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(April 1980). Houston Breakthrough 1980-04 - Page 5. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4490/show/4468

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Breakthrough 1980-04 - Page 5, April 1980, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed July 10, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4490/show/4468.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Breakthrough 1980-04
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date April 1980
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Physical Description 32 page periodical
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Original Item Location http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 5
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women--Texas--Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see the UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the “About” page of this website.
File name femin_201109_559e.jpg
Transcript LOCAL COLOR City of Houston: Unequal opportunity employer Women are underpaid and under-employed in city government. BY JANICE BLUE Eleanor Tinsley is taking action on affirmative action. Some have apparently advised the new city councilwoman to take on a safer issue, "like flooding," but Tinsley told her research assistant, Goldie Waghalter, "I may be a one-term council member but I want my two years to have an impact. I don't want to be around here for 10 years and do nothing." In early March, two months into her first term in City Hall, the former HISD school board president took an unprecedented step for a member of city council. She called a press conference and unveiled some hard statistics. Tinsley's "Study on Women in City Government," commissioned by her and researched by Waghalter, showed that women are underutilized and earn lower salaries on the average than men city employees. The average bi-weekly salary for all male employees is $430, or $11,180 per year. The average bi-weekly salary for female employees is $341, or $8,886 per year. These figures do not include firefighters and police officers. Her report targeted four city departments that had no women in key positions—aviation, real estate, city planning and traffic and transportation. The latter department only has women employed as clerical workers. Tinsley emphasized that she was not accusing the city of discrimination but rather pointing out that "the city is not taking advantage of the wealth of skill women have to offer. That is the city's and the taxpayers' loss." The result, she says, is that "a lot of women are leaving and a lot of women who've been with the city for years are simply frustrated. They're at a dead end. They're the ones you hear about who train supervisor after supervisor and get nowhere." No discrimination cases have been judged against the city. "We're hoping we can do things that will avoid having an expensive case for the city," she said. The city adopted an affirmative action plan back in 1974, but the disparity continues in almost every job classification. As of January 1980, Tinsley pointed out: #Administrators represent four percent of city employees: 74 percent male and 26 percent female. # 12 percent of city employees are in the professional category: 48 percent male and 52 percent female. 0 Technical workers make up 13 percent: 71 percent male and 29 percent female. % Protective Services (excluding police and fire) employ 3 percent: 77 percent male and 23 percent female. # Para-professionals comprise one percent: eleven percent are male and 89 percent female. #18 percent of the city's labor force is in clerical-related positions: seven percent male and 93 percent female. # Service and maintenance workers make up 36 percent: 90 percent male and 10 percent female. One of Tinsley's great concerns is for the women clustered in the lowest jobs in Eleanor Tinsley (r) and Goldie Waghalter published a "Study on Women in City Government1 the city. Ninety-three percent of the clerical workers are women. Tinsley pointed out that clerical workers are the lowest paid of all city employees. Even here, "men are apt to earn more than women," said Tinsley of the seven-percent-male clerical work force. Clerical salaries fall below service and maintenance workers. Using the bi-weekly average earnings of employees hired since January 1, 1977, Tinsley noted that women clericals made $341, whereas men in service and maintenance jobs average $430 and women workers there averaged $370. (See table next page). Her recommendations for upgrading the status of women in city employment include plans to re-evaluate the career counseling program, set centralized training programs, and to strengthen the affirmative action enforcement powers. The Affirmative Action Division has been "a department with no teeth. There are no penalties for non-compliance. Tins- ley says and empathizes with the frustration of its new director, Erie Calloway, who was appointed during McConn's first term of office. "Erie came into a department that had not made any reports since 1975. She's trying to standardize the record keeping. She's asked department heads to come and be briefed and they just send representatives (to the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee meetings). She's had trouble getting goals and timetables." The Affirmative Action Division of the Mayor's office requested all city departments to prepare their goals and timetables for the period July 1, 1979 through June 30, 1980 by last August 20. It was only after the Tinsley—Waghalter inquiries around the first of the year that the delinquent departments started working on their projections of hiring goals for women and minorities. All but one turned in the reports in March, seven months late. Heading the list of the late filers was the civil service department. Ironically, its director, Al James, held Calloway's job as chief of affirmative action before moving over to "the real power job," as one member of the Affirmative Action Advisory Commission calls this civil service post. Tinsley issued a press release in late March naming the departments who filed their goals and timetables seven months late. In addition to civil service, they were the civic center, the city secretary's office and the civil defense and health departments. The treasury department never turned one in. "It would appear that (these departments) are not taking affirmative action seriously," says Tinsley, warning, "We have to take care of our own house or else Washington might come in and do it for us." "Erie told us that with Eleanor's interest in this area, it has made her job a lot easier. People are starting to take her seriously because what we're saying is that affirmative action is a serious issue," says Waghalter, a UH graduate student in political science. Tinsley, determined that this study on women in city government will not end up in a file like those documented by the now-defunct Office of the Women's Advocate, under Poppy Northcutt and later, Nikki Van Hightower. Van Hightower says she is pleased Tinsley has made affirmative action a priority. "Eleanor obviously cares. She is the first person who has done anything about it (affirmative action) that really even has any possibility of making any changes. Neither Poppy nor I did. She's an elected official. She votes on the budget. She has bargaining power. We had none." Tinsley intends to use her clout at the city budget hearings. "I can start asking every department head, 'What was your goal for 1979? Where are you in it?' and they have to answer, because I'll be voting on their budget," she says. "I'll have the figures. I'll know what they've done." One of the people who will have some hard explaining to do is Del Marvel, director of the traffic and transportation department. The only women in his department are the eight clerical workers. Marvel was "with the highway department for 30 years" and came over to the city post two years ago as a McConn appointee. "First, we have to have them that are willing, that want to apply. As far as any reluctance to hire women (on our part). No, if they want to tackle it, fine." He says he doesn't do any recruiting but any time he has a vacancy he follows what is his interpretation of city policy and that is "to put that vacancy to, what do you call it, civil service, yes, Al James, to civil service. We have rules that we can pick the top three applicants that come in, but to my knowledge, I have never seen three. If we get a response it's only one, and with the employment the way it is here in Houston, we grab whoever qualifies." „ i APRIL 1980