Human Service Workers Must Receive Fair Pay
As Black History Month has just ended, and with March bringing Women’s History Month, it is important to recognize intersectionality and how legislation affects the workers of our city. On March 10th, I attended the Just Par Rally at City Hall to ensure higher pay and better contracts for the workers of our city. Human Service workers, like everyone else, deserve fair wages. With New York being one of the richest cities in the world, there is no reason for poverty level wages. Human Service workers are predominantly Women and BIPOC. As a Black woman, I recognize how we are constantly overworked and underpaid, and yet we do some of the most important work in New York City. The women of Human Services are often the breadwinners of their families. Paying these workers fairly will sustain families and strengthen our economy. Today we are calling for no less than $21/hr for all City and State funded human service workers. An automatic Cost of Living Adjustment must be factored into every contract.
Mayor Adams has expressed the surplus of funds the state has in its possession. He insisted on budget cuts across the board, for all services except the NYPD. He still insists on having the workers in the city struggle to make ends meet. How can the city possibly have an excess of funds when its people are living in poverty? Not only can the city afford to properly fund Human Services nonprofits, it is essential to our health. Three years into the Covid19 pandemic, we are still rebuilding our city. Fair wages are how we rebuild, it’s how we get money back into the communities who so desperately need it, it is how we strengthen our sector to be even more prepared for the next event this city may face. Human Services workers acted as the frontline to our city’s defense during the pandemic, despite being woefully prepared with inadequate supplies. We can not treat the people who stepped up in our city’s time of need as though they shouldn’t be able to afford to live here. Human Services workers are essential to New York’s health and wellness. We must pay them fairly and it must happen now.
You can find more about the Just Pay initiative at https://www.justpayny.org/
The initiative has 3 goals:
- Provide for an automatic annual COLA on all human services contracts
- A living wage floor of $21 per hour for all City and State funded human services workers
- A comprehensive wages and benefit schedule for gov’t. contracted human services workers comparable to their City and State counterparts