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We Build Alaska

Governor Dunleavy paying woman nearly 2.5 times less than man for same job

A recent records request from the Alaska Landmine to the Department of Administration has exposed a massive pay gap between two employees of the Dunleavy administration who have the same job. Lynn Gattis and Jim Sackett are both regional directors. Sackett is Director of the Governor’s Fairbanks Office. Gattis is Director of the Governor’s Mat-Su Office.

Sackett is being paid $125,004.00 a year. Gattis is only being paid $52,224.00 a year, nearly 2.5 times less than Sackett. Both are listed as Exempt Full Time employees.

Update: Before Lynn Gattis took the job as Director of the Mat-Su office, former Senator Bill Stoltze briefly had the job. According to a previous records request obtained by the Alaska Landmine, Stoltze was paid $95.004.00. The same as the previous person who held the job under Governor Walker.

Both Sackett and Gattis told me they were not aware of the pay differential.

Under former Governor Bill Walker, there was also a pay gap for the two positions, but much less. Sarah Heath (no relation to Sarah Palin) was Director of the Mat-Su office and Melissa Stepovich was Director of the Fairbanks office. Heath was paid $95,004 a year and Stepovich was paid $112,896. However, Stepovich had worked in that role much longer than Heath.

Gattis is a former Representative and board member of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District. She was defeated by now Senator David Wilson (R – Wasilla) in the 2016 Republican primary. Interestingly, Gattis served on the school board at the same time as Mike Dunleavy. Gattis and Dunleavy have been friends for years.

Sackett ran as a Republican and was defeated by now Representative Grier Hopkins (D – Fairbanks) in the November election. Sackett joins a long list of Republicans who recently ran for office, lost, and have since been hired to work in the Dunleavy administration.

Gender equity and the gender pay gap have been major issues at the national level in recent years. There are many reasons for the gender pay gap, including the fact that more men work in more higher paying jobs. However, in this case it seems that Gattis is actually more qualified than Sackett, yet she is being paid almost 2.5 times less.

A phone call and text message to Mary Ann Pruitt, Dunleavy’s Communications Director, asking for a comment went unanswered.




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4 years ago

Thank you for calling this out!

The Alaska Poaster
4 years ago

For a director position, that seems more like a payroll/contractual error than a deliberate pay reduction for a woman. It’s less than what a first-year teacher for NSBSD with no prior experience would receive. Why wouldn’t Lynn know what she was getting paid? You dig up some bizarre news, Landfield.

4 years ago

I agree. Something is amiss. Why would anyone at that level agree to such a small salary? If it is intentional, this administration sure hates daylight…

4 years ago

About the same she was making as a legislator. Pretty weak

4 years ago

How long ago did these folks ACCEPT these terms of employment? Could it be that there are so many things which require fixing, that a few folks FELT THE URGE to make some political points by spinning a situation? I think this article is premature, at best, and that the inequalities will eventually be rectified.

4 years ago

I have no idea why the pay gap between Matsu and Fairbanks exists for the same job. I do find it humorous how some people refuse to consider there may be a real problem instead saying your artical is “premature” and “inequalities will eventually be rectified”..
Good lord people this is Political meaning things are done for odd reasons all the time.

On the other hand Rep. Gattis took the job knowing how much she would be paid so even though others are making more she must be ok with the salary.

4 years ago

You realize that state employees in Fairbanks are paid a cost of living differential–same pay grade, but more pay.