President Barack Obama is marking April 9 as "National Equal Pay Day." Critics have been quick to point out that the administration reportedly pays its male staffers a substantial 13 percent more than its female staffers.
It should also be noted that 70 percent of White House staffers in higher-income salary brackets are men, according to reports.
“To grow our middle class and spur progress in the years ahead, we need to address longstanding inequity that keeps women from earning a living equal to their efforts,” Obama announced Monday evening.
“That is why I have made pay equity a top priority -- from signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act days after I took office to cracking down on equal pay law violations wherever they occur. And to back our belief in equality with the weight of law, I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.”
CNSNews reported last month that 70 percent of White House employees earning the maximum salary of $172,200, were in fact men. The news outlet further extrapolated figures provided by the White House indicating that administration staff are paid $86,260.89 on average, but that women specifically earn an average of $76,162.65.
In other words, men working for the current administration earn 13.26 percent more than their female counterparts.
Despite the disparity, Obama still went on to state:
“Women -- who make up nearly half of our Nation's workforce -- face a pay gap that means they earn 23 percent less on average than men do...That disparity is even greater for African-American women and Latinas. On National Equal Pay Day, we recognize this injustice by marking how far into the new year women have to work just to make what men did in the previous one.”
CNSNews reminded that back in 2008 then-senator Obama paid women on his senate staff roughly 22 percent on average less than his male staffers. The average male member of Obama's senate staff earned $57,425.00 yearly while women earned $44,953.21.
In a statement that may come back to haunt him, the president also said that "when working mothers make less than their male counterparts, they have less to spend on basic necessities like child care, groceries, and rent.”
CNS provides additional statistics:
In 2012, according to a report on White House staff salaries, there were 466 total paid White House Office employees and two unpaid staffers. Of the paid staffers, 234 were women and 232 were men.
In November 2010, President Obama, who earns $400,000 annually, froze the salaries of every White House staffer who makes over $100,000, meaning the only way for an employee over that benchmark to receive a raise would be through increased responsibilities or in a different job. The maximum salary has been $172,200 since 2008, when it was increased by 2.5% from $168,000.
The highest annual compensation for any White House staffers in 2012 was $172,200, and a total of 20 people earned that top salary. Among those 20 employees, 14 were men and 6 were women--making 70 percent of the highest-paid White House staffers men, and 30 percent women.
“I call upon all Americans to recognize the full value of women's skills and their significant contributions to the labor force, acknowledge the injustice of wage inequality, and join efforts to achieve equal pay,” Obama added.