Fred Lucas | Staff Writer | Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Both McCain and Clinton also employed more female than male staffers, while Obama employed more males than females. However, Obama's staff was more balanced between male and female staffers than either McCain's or Clinton's.
Also, McCain and Clinton had more female than male staffers making six-figure salaries, while Obama had more male than female staffers making six-figure salaries.
The data were taken from the Report of the Secretary of the Senate, which covered the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007.
Only in the office of McCain, an Arizona Republican and his party's presumptive presidential nominee, was the average salary for women higher than for men. See Chart
On the staff of Clinton, a New York senator contesting for the Democratic presidential nomination, women outnumbered men by more than 2-1, and held most of the highest paying jobs, yet the average pay for women and men on Clinton's staff was almost equal. See Chart
A spokesman for Clinton's office, however, said that the salary averages calculated for her office by Cybercast News Service could be skewed because seven women and two men working on Clinton's Senate staff during the period in question were given additional compensation by her presidential campaign for outside work on the campaign.
The average pay for women who worked on the Senate staff of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama of Illinois was at least $6,000 below the average pay for men working on Obama's staff. This held true whether the average pay was calculated for all of Obama's staff, only for his non-intern staff, or only for his staff making more than $23,000 on an annual basis. Obama employed slightly more males than females.
Last week, both Clinton and Obama cut away from their busy campaign schedules to return to Washington to vote in favor of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would extend the limit on how long an employee can wait before suing an employer for pay discrimination. McCain was campaigning that day and did not vote, but has expressed opposition to the legislation.
The legislation was named after Lilly Ledbetter, who was a supervisor at Goodyear Tire Rubber's plant in Gadsden, Ala. She sued for pay discrimination before retiring after 19 years because she had made $6,500 less per year than the lowest paid male supervisor.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out her case saying she waited too long to file a complaint. The court said that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employee must sue within 180 days of a decision regarding pay if alleged discrimination is involved. The bill sought to change the law, but Democrats could not muster the needed 60 votes to override a Republican filibuster.
Cybercast News Service calculated three different sets of average salaries for the male and female components of each of the three Senate offices: 1) the averages for all male or female employees listed in the Secretary of the Senate's report, 2) the averages for all male and female employees listed in the Secretary of the Senate's report who were not described as "interns," and 3) the averages for all male and female employees who were paid more than $23,000 on annual basis. The analysis also looked at the number of men and women on each staff earning more than $100,000 per year.
(It was decided to do the averages for all male and female staffers earning more than $23,000 because Sen. Clinton's office, which did not employ any interns, said the averages that Cybercast News Service calculated for her full staff included some workers who were only part-time employees. However, Clinton's office did not indicate which employees those were. The lowest paid, non-intern employee for McCain, meanwhile, was paid just over $23,000 on annual basis, and McCain's office confirmed that this person was a full-time employee. Thus, calculating the average salaries for all employees earning $23,000 per year or more in each of the offices seemed one reasonable way to compare the salary structure across the three offices. Aditionally, one employee of a Senate coalition who received small payments from both Clinton and Obama was excluded from the analysis.) See Chart
As noted, female staffers were paid less than men on average in Obama's office no matter which measure was used. Female staffers in McCain's office were paid more than men on average no matter which measure was used. Clinton provided an almost identical average pay to males and females paid over $23,000 per year, but paid proportionally more to males than females, when averages were calculated for her entire payroll.
Obama Pays Men More
Of the five people in Obama's Senate office who were paid $100,000 or more on an annual basis, only one--Obama's administrative manager--was a woman.
The average pay for the 33 men on Obama's staff who earned more than $23,000 per year was $59,207. The average pay for the 31 women on Obama's staff who earned more than $23,000 per year was $48,729.91. (The average pay for all 36 male employees on Obama's staff was $55,962; and the average pay for all 31 female employees was $48,729. The report indicated that Obama had only one paid intern during the period, who was a male.)
A spokesman for Obama's Senate office, who asked not to be named, told Cybercast News Service , "Senator Obama believes that bringing together people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints is critical to tackling the tough challenges our nation faces today. He has followed that principle in assembling his Senate staff, which he believes is the finest in Congress."
The highest paid employee on Obama's Senate staff was his male Chief of Staff Peter Rouse, who earned $80,329 for the six-month period, or $160,658 per year. He was followed by Legislative Director Christopher Lu, who earned $64,115 for the half year, or $128,230 per year. The highest paid woman on Obama's staff was Carolyn Mosley, his administrative manager, who earned about $50,000 for the six-month period, or about $100,000 for the year.
Clinton has Largest Female-to-Male Ratio
Clinton had the largest female-to-male ratio in her office: 48 women and 22 men. Among the four staffers who were earning more than $100,000 per year on Clinton's staff during the period covered by the report, three were women.
Among her employees earning more than $23,000, Clinton paid men and women virtually the same average salary. The 22 men in that category in Clinton's office earned an average annual salary of $56,731.34, while the 43 women earned an average annual salary of $56,050.20.
There's no glass ceiling for any gender in Clinton's office, Clinton Senate spokesman Philippe Reines said.
"Our ceilings are literally so high that you'd need a ladder to reach it," Reines told Cybercast News Service . "So the only thing keeping any of us down is Newton's Law - and nothing else."
Clinton has had more than 150 people on her staff over the last seven years, mostly people with strong ties to New York State, and has a "balanced and diversified staff," Reines said.
Reines also pointed to staff changes since the last Secretary of the Senate report covering the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007.
"You are looking at a single six-month period that does not accurately reflect either the current or historical facts, both in terms of make up and salary," he said. "For instance, several members of the staff, including myself, are paid both through the Senate and through the senator's presidential campaign."
Seven women working for Clinton's Senate office earned a combined $320,000 on an annual basis from the Clinton presidential campaign, Reines said. Further, two men working for the Senate office earned a combined $50,000 on an annual basis from the campaign.
He said these figures should be calculated into the average salaries for Clinton's office. Otherwise, he said, the average could be "low by tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars." Clinton's office provided only the aggregate compensation that the campaign paid to these staffers, not the individual salaries paid to each of them.
Neither McCain's nor Obama's office responded to a question from Cybercast News Service as to whether they had congressional staff who were also separately compensated by their campaigns for work outside the office. The analysis reported here deals strictly with the tax-funded staff compensation records reported by the Secretary of Senate.
Clinton's highest paid congressional employee was Tamara Luzzatto, her female chief of staff, who earned $70,360 for the six-month period, or $140,720 on an annual basis. The highest paid male in Clinton's office was Deputy Chief of Staff Kris Balderston, who earned $66,791 for the half year, or $133,582 on an annual basis.
McCain: Fewer staff, but highest averages for women
Excluding interns, McCain got by with a smaller Senate staff than his presidential rivals.
He employed a total of 69 people during the reporting period, but 23 of them were interns. Of his non-intern employees, 30 were women and 16 were men.
After excluding interns and adjusting the pay for employees who didn't work in the office for the entire six months, the average pay for the 30 women on McCain's staff was $58,971.24. The 16 non-intern males in McCain's office, by comparison, were paid an average of $56,628.83.
The top two highest earners on McCain's staff were his female legislative director Amy Begemen, who earning $68,864 for the half-year measured (or $133,782 on an annual basis); and female Communications Director Eileen McMenamin, who earned $55,431 for the six months (or $110,862 on an annual basis). The highest paid man in McCain's office was Richard H. Fontaine, a legislative assistant, who earned $53,753 for the six months (or $107,506 on an annual basis).
Formula for Analysis
The information for the analysis on the three presidential candidates was taken from the Report of the Secretary of the Senate that covered the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007.
CNSNews.com sent its analysis of each office's payroll data to the congressional office that was the subject of the analysis so they could verify the gender of staff members, salaries and other information. McCain, Clinton and Obama each responded.
Because the report only covered a half year, the salaries listed for those six months were simply multiplied by two to determine the annual amount. In several cases, staff members only worked a portion of the six-month period. To arrive at an annual salary for these employees, Cybercast News Service divided the total amount they were paid by the number of days they worked, then multiplied that number by 365.
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