(CNSNews.com) – President Barack Obama designated April 9 as National Equal Pay Day, even though 70 percent of White House staffers in the top-salary bracket were men, and male White House staffers earn on average 13 percent more than female staffers.
“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 said in the proclamation released 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.com reported on March 15 that 70 percent of White House staffers earning the maximum salary of $172,200 last year were men and 30 percent were women, according to the White House numbers posted on staff compensation. Further, men on the White House staff are paid $86,260.89 on average. Women on the White House staff are paid an average of $76,162.65. So men on the White House staff are paid about 13.26 percent more than women. Put another way, women earn 88.29 percent of what men earn.
That pay gap is somewhat less than the national average Obama mentioned in his proclamation.
“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,” Obama proclaimed. “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.”
This has been a pattern for Obama dating back to the days before he became president.
In 2008, CNSNews.com reported that then-Sen. Obama, on average, paid women on his Senate staff only 78 percent of what he paid men--with the average man on Obama's Senate staff getting an annual salary of $57,425.00 and the average woman getting an annual salary or $44,953.21.
Tuesday’s proclamation said, “When working mothers make less than their male counterparts, they have less to spend on basic necessities like child care, groceries, and rent.”
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 said in the proclamation.