Some nonprofits use essential-worker fete to highlight pay disparities

People celebrating at New York City's "Hometown Heroes" ticker tape parade.
People celebrating at New York City's "Hometown Heroes" ticker tape parade.
Michael Appleton / Mayoral Photography Office
New York City held the "Hometown Heroes" ticker tape parade honoring essential workers on Wednesday.

Some nonprofits use essential-worker fete to highlight pay disparities

Those eschewing the celebration say the city should be giving increased pay to frontline workers instead of hosting a parade.
July 8, 2021

New York City held a ticker-tape parade yesterday to honor the essential workers who helped the city make it out of the COVID-19 pandemic, including nurses, child care workers and others who have been on the front lines for more than a year.

Plenty of essential nonprofit workers made appearances throughout the event, including people representing the organizations YAI, Breaking Ground and United Neighborhood Houses. But some groups took the day as an opportunity to highlight how many front-line workers remain underpaid, including those in the nonprofit sector.

University Settlement wrote in a tweet that it would not participate in the parade because the city did not agree to a 3% cost-of-living-adjustment for human services workers in the recently passed budget. The Legal Aid Society also wrote in a statement that “the precious dollars spent on this parade should have instead been allocated to fund cost of living increases and pay parity for public defenders and civil legal services staff.”

Additionally, the unions representing emergency medical workers also declined to participate in the parade over pay disputes, with Andrew Ansbro, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, telling the New York Times that funding for the parade would have better been spent giving hazard pay to essential workers.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
20220703