Rallying for #JustPay for Human Services Workers

More than 1,000 individuals representing NYC nonprofit human services providers, including VOA-Greater New York, rallied outside of New York City Hall on Thursday, March 10 to demand higher wages for the City's government-contracted human services workers. The rally was organized by the Human Services Council of New York as part of its larger #JustPay campaign, and featured remarks from frontline workers as well as elected officials including:

  • Brad Lander, NYC Comptroller
  • Diana Ayala, Deputy Speaker of the New York City Council (District 8)
  • Oswald Feliz, Council Member (District 15)
  • Farah Louis, Council Member (District 45)
  • Tiffany Cabán, Council Member (District 22)
  • Althea Stevens, Council Member (District 16)
  • Kevin Riley, Council Member (District 12)
  • Lincoln Restler, Council Member (District 33)

VOA-Greater New York Sector Director, Lijin Thomas, spoke at the event, telling the crowd, "I cannot emphasize how much human services workers run the risk of compassion fatigue and burnout... When workers are underpaid and overworked, it's communities who suffer."

The government is the predominant funder of human services, and current New York City and State contracts have resulted in the essential human services workforce being some of the lowest-paid workers in New York’s economy. Many shelter, supportive housing and other human services staff receive poverty wages, and qualify for the same services as the clients they work with every day. This must change.

The #JustPay campaign is seeking an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) on all human services contracts as well as a living wage floor of no less than $21 an hour.

Learn more at https://www.justpayny.org/