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Sign On Letter in Support of Human Services Workforce

Sign On Letter in Support of Human Services Workforce

Tell the Governor to fund the human services workforce! Governor Cuomo has built his platform pushing for women’s equality, yet has refused to make critical investments in the salaries of our workers, 80 percent of whom are women. We are asking women who work for non-profit organizations that provide human services to sign this letter,  ask the Governor to fulfill his promise on delivering for women across New York by investing in non-profit human services organizations.
We are working with coalitions across the State on this effort to make sure that we can show the Governor not only that this is a critical issue that must be addressed, but also how vast and involved women are in human services organizations. Please take a few moments to share this with your networks and encourage women involved with non-profit human services organizations to sign on.

The deadline to sign on is February 25th, 2019.
February 25, 2019

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Executive Chamber
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12242

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Throughout your administration, you have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the causes of women. Your advocacy of equal pay and equal rights and elevation of women to the top levels of your cabinet – including not only the first-ever female Secretary to the Governor but also creation of New York’s first-ever Council on Women and Girls that your senior aide, Melissa DeRosa, chairs – shows your willingness to take action on issues of gender equity.

That brings us to an issue close to our hearts, not only as New Yorkers but also as women. We all work in the non-profit human services sector – as direct care workers, social workers, counselors, administrators, cooks, cleaners, drivers, and more. This sector includes agencies that support people with behavioral health and developmental disabilities, low-income senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, people without reliable access to food, those experiencing homelessness, and youth in foster care. 

Fully 81% of the people who work at these non-profit human service agencies are women. That’s more than teaching.

Despite the predominance of women in our field, your administration appears to have a blind spot when it comes to adequate funding for our wages and for the human services organizations that keep us employed. While the average New Yorker earns $67,500 annually, the average human services worker in New York earns only $27,800; our sector is an important place to start in your work of achieving equal pay.

For example, your Executive Budget Proposal postpones the Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) for human services organizations that we work for, as it has done for 8 of the 9 years of your administration. By removing the COLA, you have deprived our workforce of over $500 million dollars. How can we women make strides toward equal pay and begin to make a living wage when your budget doesn’t provide funding to the human services organizations that employ us – simply to keep up with inflation?  We know you’re aware of the staffing crisis that exists in many sectors, like developmental disabilities and preventive services, but the crisis exists throughout all of human services non-profits here in NYS.

Frankly, your actions have put the human services non-profit organizations that employ us at tremendous risk.

Our employers – and more importantly the people who work here and the people we support – respectfully request that you remove this blind spot, in your otherwise admirable women’s equality agenda.

Governor, we love our work and the services we provide build up communities and are essential to New York’s economy.

We admire your dedication to women’s equality. Please extend that dedication to the women of the human services field. We need you to act now.

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