A perennial bill to force Utah's higher education system to disclose employee salary data was tabled in the Senate Education Committee Wednesday.

Proponents of the bill said it is unfair that the salaries of state employees outside education must be available upon request. The ability of colleges and universities to withhold the information allows inequities among salaries to persist. Minorities and women are most subject to salary discrimination, they said.Opponents said current laws allow for unhappy employees to protest what they believe to be salary inequities. Posting salaries would impede the ability of the higher education institutions to attract outstanding faculty. The current nurse shortage also could be exploited by private hospitals, who might offer University Hospital nurses higher salaries to leave the U. hospital, a spokesman said.

Sen. Dix McMullin, R-Salt Lake, suggested that the Utah Public Employees Association, which represents non-education workers, was promoting the legislation to increase its membership, a charge that was denied by several UPEA representatives.