Nonprofits: NYC budget doesn’t increase human services workers pay enough

Rally in City Hall Park in Manhattan calling for more funding for nonprofits.
Rally in City Hall Park in Manhattan calling for more funding for nonprofits.
Kay Dervishi
Nonprofits have rallied for human services workers to get paid more.

Nonprofits: NYC budget doesn’t increase human services workers pay enough

The budget deal includes a one-time bonus totaling $24 million for human services workers.
July 1, 2021

New York City officials announced an agreement yesterday on a $98.7 billion budget, which will include a one-time bonus totalling $24 million for the city’s human services workers. 

But human services nonprofits say that pay boost isn’t enough to ensure workers staffing homeless shelters, food banks and other organizations get equitable pay; they insist that restoring a cost-of-living adjustment would go further. The Human Services Council has called for the city to commit $48 million to establish a 3% cost-of-living adjustment for those workers.

“These human services workers served their neighborhoods throughout the darkest days of the pandemic by caring for children of emergency responders, delivering meals to homebound seniors, and offering counselling and support to those in crisis,” reads a statement from Susan Stamler, the executive director of United Neighborhood Houses. “They deserve greater recognition for their essential work.”

Members of New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus and Women’s Caucus have pushed for the city to bring back the cost-of-living adjustment at an annual rate of at least 3% earlier this month. “We recognize that last year’s budget was strained and forced tough decisions related to many sectors, but budgets are a statement of our city’s values,” they wrote in a joint op-ed in Gotham Gazette earlier this month. “What does it say to our constituents when jobs that police and incarcerate our communities’ residents make over twice as much as those that support our constituents with social services?”

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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