New York Times Pays Minorities and Women Less, Union Finds

  • Minorities earn 10% less than average, women 7% less than men
  • Study overlooks experience, education, Times tells News Guild

The New York Times pays unionized minority employees about 10 percent less on average than their colleagues overall and women earn 7 percent less than men, according to a study by the union at the company.

Women and minorities are more likely to hold low-paying jobs and are “much less prevalent in high-paying positions,” according to the News Guild, which published the study Thursday. The pay gap exists regardless of how long an employee has been on the job or the type of job, the union said.

Minority workers are “vastly over-represented in the lowest paid jobs,” including news assistants and help-desk analysts, according to the study. Women and minorities are under-represented in roles like reporter or critic, it said. Women at the paper make up about 37 percent of the reporters and 16 percent of critics, which is one of the highest-paying union jobs in the newsroom, the study found.

“The highest-paid jobs are dominated by men,” the study said. 

The study looked at the salaries of more than 1,100 workers represented by the News Guild and relied on pay data from October. It didn’t include employees who are part of management. It was conducted for the guild by the Communication Workers of America.

Company Response

Eileen Murphy, a New York Times Co. spokeswoman, said the company has received the study and “agreed to analyze the assertions it makes. This is a detailed process that will take some time to complete,” Murphy said in an e-mail.

The union said it presented the findings to management on May 2 and was told the company is “taking the report seriously.” The company also told the union the study was “incomplete” because it doesn’t account for factors like education and experience.

Racial minorities make up about 22 percent of union employees at the Times, the study found. Hispanics were the lowest-paid workers, earning about 84 percent of the average salary for people in similar roles, the study found. Blacks earned about 89 percent of the average, while white workers earned 103 percent and Asians earned 98 percent, it said.

Media companies are coming under scrutiny for disparities in pay based on race and genders. In March, the Wall Street Journal, owned by News Corp., pledged to close its pay gap after its union found women and minorities employed by the newspaper and Dow Jones were paid less than their male and white counterparts.

Last month, the Times and its Chief Executive Officer Mark Thompson were accused in a lawsuit of engaging in “deplorable discrimination” favoring young, white male employees over older, minority female workers.

Ernestine Grant, 62, and Marjorie Walker, 61, who work in the newspaper’s advertising division, claim the environment is “rife with discrimination based on age, race and gender,” according to the suit, which was filed in Manhattan federal court. The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status and unspecified damages.

Murphy, the Times spokeswoman, called the lawsuit “a series of recycled, scurrilous and unjustified attacks,” that “completely distorts the realities of the work environment at the New York Times.”

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