Categories: Community Corner
In October 2021, the nation experienced a wave of walkouts by workers protesting unsafe working conditions and demanding better wages, benefits, and paid sick leave.
This NPR piece on “Striketober,” puts these strikes in historical context indicating that workers are finally getting traction on demands for better pay. Although Striketober saw its peak with food and service industry employees, many workers, including and especially those in the nonprofit human services sector, are struggling with the same issues: an inability to afford basic necessities like rent, quality childcare and healthcare. Although most services in supportive housing are government-contracted, our sector is still paid poverty-level wages.
Providers are struggling with recruitment and retention, as qualified workers leave the sector for higher-earning opportunities in the private market. While the governor’s proposal to issue a 5.4% cost of living adjustment (COLA) is progress, the city has still failed to meet the needs of our mostly Black and brown workforce, and has not kept up with inflation and the rising costs of rents in the city. If you are interested in getting involved in the fight for human services sector wages, join the #JustPay campaign.