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“It has been a long time coming. The sector has recognized the need to organize to more effectively advocate for its budget and legislative needs,” Amaru says. “If there was a service that was needed to provide stability to New Yorkers, it’s our workforce that offers those services.”

“This is important because if your paycheck comes from contracts with the state, you have not had a COLA in 12 years. If you were a city contract worker, it’s been almost four years since you’ve seen any type of COLA reflected in your raise,” says Amaru. “These poverty wages are a direct reflection of the decision that the government has traditionally made to not invest in this sector.”

“People who are drawn into this type of work in the human services sector want to make people’s lives better. They’re drawn into this work of wanting to help people and they don’t do this type of work to get rich because it is a service-oriented job. With that said, because you have a service-oriented job does not mean that the government should fund poverty wages for work that is a necessity,” says Amaru.

“When we’re talking about who is the most essential, we have to take into consideration the people who left the safety of their homes every day to go to their jobs to provide safety and security and stabilizing services to New Yorkers,” Amaru says. “Our workers are absolutely essential. However, the government has not recognized them as being essential because they have been paid so poorly through city and state contracts.”

Read the full article, Nonprofit workers helped NYC get through the pandemic. Now they want better pay. published March 22, 2022 on

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