Further Work Needed To Achieve Pay Equity in Connecticut Government, Report Finds

The third annual report details an influx of workers but a persistent lack of pay equity across ethnic groups.

Landscape image of the outside of the Hartford Times building at UConn Hartford.

Exterior views of the UConn Hartford campus Times Building. April 13, 2022. (Sean Flynn)

In collaboration with the Office of the State Comptroller, Professor Mohamad Alkadry, director of the School of Public Policy in the UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has published the third annual report on government employment in Connecticut.  

“Post-Retirement Tsunami: Trends in Representation and Pay Equity in CT State Government” describes how, following the 2022 retirement “tsunami,” thousands of employees left state service. In the last three years, though, approximately 5,423 people have entered state service. 

The report examines the representation and pay equity of this new cohort to see if existing policies and recruitment strategies are working to build a more diverse and equitably compensated workforce. 

The report’s findings suggest that further work is needed to achieve pay equity in state government. Currently in Connecticut state government, Asian men and women are the highest earners when compared to their colleagues, followed next by white men. Connecticut’s greatest diversity gap – for representation and, consequently, pay equity – is recruitment of Hispanic men and women. This is true for both longer-term employees and new hires, which means that current policies and practices are not overcoming the pitfalls of past policies and practices. 

“The UConn School of Public Policy is pleased to partner with the Office of the State Comptroller to contribute to Connecticut’s equity and diversity efforts by studying the state workforce,” said Professor Mohamad Alkadry, Director of the University of Connecticut’s School of Public Policy.  

“We hope that this report will advance equity efforts in the state. A more equitable workforce has real implications for the ability of the public sector to design and implement policies that effectively address community needs. Better equity in the workforce results in better policies and improved outcomes.”  

“My office is committed to transparency, even when the data may not showcase the progress we aspire to make. These findings reinforce the fact that, as a state, we must continue to prioritize equity and diversity in our workforce,” said Comptroller Sean Scanlon. “My office remains committed to this work and supporting my partners in the state, and we are appreciative of UConn’s School of Public Policy for their expertise in conducting this analysis.” 

The report notes that each agency has its own individualized challenges, meaning that there is no all-encompassing solution to the disparities noted. Instead, achieving representation and pay equity requires individualized strategies to address challenges pertinent to each body. 

The report also encourages the Department of Administrative Services to conduct an analysis of the diversity of statewide candidate pools to investigate if state employee representation reflective of the candidate pools at their starting point, or if diverse candidates are being disqualified along the way. This analysis of this data could help inform whether diverse candidates are even entering the application process at all. 

This series of reports, initiated by the Office of the State Comptroller, is conducted to inform discussions and policies by the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls. The full report can be found on the Office of the State Comptroller website.