Exciting News: 3% COLA for NYC Human Service Workers Thanks to #JustPay!

The #JustPay campaign was launched in 2021 to raise wages and improve working conditions for essential human services workers. Women of color constitute 46% of the workforce, 66% are overwhelmingly female, and roughly two-thirds of all full-time human services workers had earnings below the City’s near-poverty threshold.

At the City level, the #JustPay campaign is asking for a 5% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for City-contracted human services workers and a public commitment from the Mayor to fund a 3% COLA in each of the next two years, bringing the full investment in human services workers to 16% in the next 5 years. 

 After three years of organizing and advocacy, 2,100 individuals and organizations supporting the campaign, and 9,000 workers, including NMIC employees, joining in person at three rallies, we are thrilled to share that Mayor Adams announced that the City will be funding a three-year 3% cost of living adjustment (COLA) for NYC human services workers. These 3% increases will go into effect on 7/1/24, 7/1/25, and 7/1/26, totaling $741 million for an estimated 80,000 workers. 

We are grateful and extend a warm thank you to all those who supported the #JustPay movement, including NMIC staff, Mayor Adams and his administration, our partners, and the invaluable leadership of the Human Services Council (HSC).  Whether you participated in a protest, made a phone call, or added your signature to the campaign, your action made a difference. To our partners, especially HSC, thank you for leading the campaign and organizing the sector. The successful outcome of this movement is a testament to the power of organizing and collective advocacy.   

Despite the one-house budget including a 3.2% COLA at the State level, it did not include the Wage Board Legislation. We’re gearing up for the Social Work Week of Action, rallying to ensure this crucial COLA provision is included in the final budget. 

Let’s take a moment to celebrate this milestone. Tomorrow, we will pick up our posters – for me, it will be a güira – and continue marching toward a more equitable workforce. 

The work continues; please consider signing on to receive campaign alerts.   

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