Petition 81574

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Pay Equity (81574-FA-NonDis-$)

Report No. 12

Executive Summary  
    At the request of the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries (Women’s Division) and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCRSW), the 1988 General Conference directed the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) to “evaluate internal wage structures and practices of general agencies in light of the principle of pay equity and to include this assessment in its regular monitoring of equal employment opportunity compliance” (The Book of Resolutions 1996, page 471 and The Book of Resolutions 2004, page 471; also see ¶¶ 807.13.b) and ¶ 811.1 in The Book of Discipline 2004).  This request was made due to perceived gender inequities in pay within the general Church. Since this initial General Conference action, the concept of pay equity has been expanded, consistent with the environment of equal employment opportunity, to encompass the Church’s value of racial/ethnic equality as well. As conceptualized pay equity is a means of eliminating sex and race discrimination in the wage-setting system. It means that the criteria general agencies use to set wages must be sex- and race-neutral.  
    In 2000, GCFA provided a report on its work in compliance with the 1988 directive and its Disciplinary responsibility under ¶ 807.13.b(4) of the Discipline. That report described the difficulties that were encountered in assessing the existence of pay equity across the general agencies, primarily because of a lack of uniformity in the human resource systems and processes among the general agencies (such as job descriptions, job evaluations, salary administration, and the like), and the lack of completeness in existing information in personnel files, especially for long-term employees.
    In follow-up to the 2000 General Conference actions, GCFA, in collaboration with the Committee on Personnel Policies and Practices (CPPP), developed new and uniform salary administration systems for the general agencies (cross-agency job evaluation system, job classification/description system, performance appraisal system, salary administration procedures, and pay equity monitoring program). These systems have been proposed to enhance the work of the general agencies in several respects: make meaningful pay equity analysis, monitoring, and correction possible; bring general agency salary administration systems into compliance with industry standards; make annual performance evaluations more objective and uniform; make possible more accurate and uniform job classifications, which would lead to more consistent salary structures; and provide assurance to general agency employees that they are being paid fairly.
    The report to the 2004 General Conference described the work that had been done on the development and implementation of these new uniform salary administration systems for the general agencies receiving general Church funds. It also described a procedure that had been developed in consultation with the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) and the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) to enable them to report on the achievement of pay equity in their respective general agencies. Implementation of those new systems and procedures has informed the generation of this report to the 2008 General Conference on the results of the pay equity monitoring process in the general agencies of The United Methodist Church.
    Since 1988 at least $1 million of general Church funds has been expended to develop a comprehensive pay equity program within the general agencies. This amount includes direct consultant fees, meeting expenses, and other costs related to pay equity. In addition, hundreds of staff and volunteer hours have been associated with this project. The expenditure of these resources demonstrates the Church’s great commitment to both the principles and the practices of pay equity.
Current Situation
    All the agencies of the general Church embrace the philosophy of pay equity and are attempting to live out its concepts. A pay equity monitoring process has been designed and is built into the current salary systems of each of the agencies. The data elements that are necessary for effective monitoring include: Social Security number or other unique identifier, job title, factoring group or classification, annual salary, gender, racial identification, years of service in current position, years of service with agency, education, performance evaluation result, and comparatio. The comparatio is the ratio of an individual’s salary to the midpoint for their factoring group or classification.
    At implementation, the monitoring process involves a comparison of the comparatios for individuals in a given factoring group or classification to observe any differences that cannot be explained by differences in performance evaluation result, relevant experience, or education. If differences remain, they are reviewed to see if there is any pattern related to gender or ethnicity. The process can identify inequities within a factoring group and across an agency as a whole. Thus a judgment can be made about the objectivity of compensation practices within individual agencies and across agencies.
    To date the model has produced aggregate statistics that indicate more detailed analysis is needed for comprehensive evaluation and full understanding of the realities of pay equity within and across the general agencies. As per established policy, the audit committees of the GBOPHB and the UMPH have submitted pay equity reports to the GCFA Committee on Audit and Review (CAR) stating compliance in compensation practices.
Conclusion and Recommendations
    It is a significant accomplishment to have pay equity monitoring systems in place and, in fact, where the system is being utilized tracking reports are now beginning to identify areas for improvement. Pay equity is a concept grounded in our faith that affirms the inherent value and equal worth of all. Pay equity is a call for the Church to practice what we have demanded of the secular world. Adopting the following recommendations will result in continued progress toward an understanding of pay equity within and across the general agencies:  
    1.    The General Conference reaffirms the Church’s commitment to pay equity.
    2.    The General Conference directs each agency receiving general Church funds to continue collaborative efforts to gather, analyze, and report on pay equity within and across the general Church. The GCFA will provide a consolidated report to the General Conference describing and evaluating the state of pay equity within and across the agencies during the quadrennium. This report will address appropriate measures established by the CPPP and in consultation with the CAR.