By Zachary FR Anderson, AsAmNews Staff Writer
A new report Legistorm report found Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who work in the U.S. Senate are among the lowest-paid staffers in the Capitol.
On the Democratic side, where 30 percent of staff are non-white, an analysis found AA/NHPI staffers are only paid 81 percent of the average of White staffers while Hispanic and Latinx staffers for Republican members are paid 91 percent. Overall, non-White staffers are paid $5,600 less annually than White staffers.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the lowest paid group on the Democratic Senate side, the report found. Hispanics are the lowest paid on the Republican side of the aisle.
Several organizations representing congressional staffers of color–– including three that represent AA/NHPI concerns–– released a statement responding to a recent Legistorm report.
“Although the 117th Congress is the most diverse Congress in the nation’s history…” the statement reads. “It is clear that equal pay is still an issue in the Senate.”
The AA/NHPI organizations that released the joint statement include the Congressional Asian Pacific American Staff Association (CAPASA), the Congressional Korean American Staff Association (CKASA) and the Congressional South Asian American Staff Association (CSAASA).
“The recent [report] is upsetting but only confirms what we already know,” CKASA co-chair Justin Oh told AsAmNews. “At our core, CKASA’s best resource is our mentors who help our members navigate tough conversations such as salary negotiations and job promotions. As public servants, we believe diversity in leadership is the most powerful tool to combat the pay gap disparity and promote a more equitable Congress.”
“[We are] is committed to supporting all AA/NHPI staffers on Capitol Hill, which includes speaking out against pay inequality impacting those in our community,” CAPASA co-president Mo Elinzano told AsAmNews. “We call on Senate offices to take these findings seriously and fix this pay gap. We must keep sharing our stories and experiences, and push for bold action to ensure equal pay for all staffers in Congress.”
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