Anti-poverty organizations call on NYC to strengthen nonprofit human services

Woman looks at food package prepared by World Central Kitchen during COVID-19 pandemic.
Woman looks at food package prepared by World Central Kitchen during COVID-19 pandemic.
lev radin / Shutterstock
Workers providing food assistance, education and other social services need better pay, according to a new proposal.

Anti-poverty organizations call on NYC to strengthen nonprofit human services

Their proposal calls for all human services workers at city-funded nonprofits to make at least $21 an hour.
July 26, 2021

A group of organizations released a range of policy proposals to combat poverty in New York City, including recommendations for the next mayor to provide greater support to human services nonprofits.

The proposal, from the nonprofit Robin Hood and the think tanks The Century Foundation and Next100, called on the next administration to ensure human services workers at nonprofits with government contracts earn at least $21 an hour, above the city’s $15 minimum wage. It also suggested the city create a plan to ensure nonprofit workers earn a similar salary to comparable public-sector employees and automatically include a cost-of-living adjustment in all contracts.

Nonprofits have long complained that government contracts do not allot enough funding to pay their workers, which results in inadequate pay for employees and higher staff turnover, which limits their ability to provide services. Several organizations and City Council members pushed for a 3% cost-of-living adjustment in this year’s budget. The city budget didn’t include it but did set aside $24 million for a one-time bonus for human services workers.

The report also notes the importance for the city to include the human services sector in disaster planning in the future after the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted challenges nonprofits faced this year; such a plan would include providing more flexibility in contracts during a disaster and allocating more funds to cover new expenses such as personal protective equipment. 

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