Pay Equity

The documents here illustrate the sustained efforts of women to gain equal pay as New York City teachers in the late-19th and early-20th centuries.  

A 2013 infographic based on the NYC Workforce Profile Report documents occupational categories by gender and ethnicity, managerial status by gender and ethnicity, and gender of NYC workers compared to NYC population. 

Pay Equity in Education

Although the bulk of teachers were women, women were not well represented on the Boards of Education. After the consolidation of New York City, State legislation established a gender-based salary schedule with the starting pay for female teachers set at $600 annually while starting pay for male teachers was $900. Women teachers also fought for the right of married women and mothers to continue to teach. Letters drawn from the collections of Mayors Grant, Strong, McClellan, Gaynor, Mitchel and Hylan—a period spanning 44 years—demonstrate the ongoing efforts to achieve equal pay and equal representation within the City school system


In 1897, the Executive Committee of the Associate Alumnae of the Normal College called upon the Senate and Assembly of the State of New York, to pass a bill to increase the pay of women teachers in the City of New York.  

Stenographers Minutes, Hearing before the Cities Committee of The Assembly on Assembly Bill No. 1139, March 5, 1907.  The Interborough Association of Women Teachers testified in support of the Equal Pay bill; the Association of Male Teachers and Principals of the City of New York testified against it.  The Legislature passed the bill; Mayor George McClellan vetoed it.

A 1907 ledger from PS 10 in the Bronx shows the salaries paid to teachers of different grades.  12 of the 67 teachers  are male and all are assigned to 7th and 8th grades; the  55 women teachers educate the primary grades.

Payroll cards show changes to salary as a result of the Equal Pay bill that took effect in 1912.

In 1919, men and women of the Teachers Interest Organization petition for equal pay.

NYC Workforce Profiles

Charts from the 2013 NYC Workforce Profile Report produced by the Office of Operations and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS).