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Bigger Paychecks, Better Benefits for Women Who Carry a Union Card

Bigger Paychecks, Better Benefits for Women Who Carry a Union Card

Unionized women workers continue to have “a substantial boost in pay and benefits” compared to their nonunion counterparts, according to a new issue brief.

The brief by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Women Workers and Unions, finds that:

Unionized women workers, on average, make 12.9 percent more than their nonunion counterparts, are 36.8% more likely to have employer-provided health insurance and 53.4% more likely to have participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.  

The study also finds that:

  • Being in or represented by a union compares with completing college in terms of wages, especially when tuition costs are factored in. All else equal, being in a union raises a woman's pay as much as a full year of college does;
  • For a women worker with a high school degree, being in or represented by a union raises her likelihood of having health insurance or a retirement plan by more than earning a four-year college degree would;
  • Women will be a majority of the union workforce in 2023 if current trends continue. 

Nicole Woo, co-author of the study, says:

Considering the great boost to pay and benefits that unions bring, it’s important that anyone who cares about the well-being of women workers also care about unions.

The CEPR report comes 50 years after the release of American Women: Report of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.”  On Tuesday, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler will take part in a Labor Department symposium, 50 Years Later: Women, Work and the Work Ahead, commemorating the anniversary.

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