HELENA, Mont. – On National Equal Pay Day, Governor Steve Bullock reflected on Montana’s efforts to narrow the gender pay gap but noted that there was still much more work left to be done. In a press conference at the Capitol he praised the initiatives put in motion by his Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force which he created by Executive Order in 2013.
“The Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force has been resolute in its mission to examine the causes of the wage gap and has taken tangible steps to close it,” he said, pointing out the Task Force’s work to complete a state pay audit for the first time, instituting wage negotiation trainings for women across the state, and supporting a robust legislative package last year.
Bullock noted how important the creation of the Task Force was for him, saying that he started it for “the thousands of working women in Montana who embody the work ethic our state is known for. They should be able to support themselves and their families, knowing they are earning equal pay for equal work.”
Governor Bullock was joined by members of his cabinet and Senator Diane Sands. Together Governor Bullock and Senator Sands renewed the call for the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that was designed specifically for Montana and would have provided for wage transparency. Senator Sands carried the bill last legislative session, but the bill fell victim to partisan battles and failed to make it out of committee.
“The Paycheck Fairness Act will address the gender pay gap by helping women successfully fight for the equal pay they earn,” Governor Bullock said.
Pam Bucy, Commissioner of Labor & Industry and Sheila Hogan, Director of the Department of Administration, Co-Chairs the Montana Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force, also wrote a piece on the work of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force in honor of National Equal Pay Day.
For more information about Governor Bullock’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force, visit www.equalpay.mt.gov.