A Fair Wage for Human Services Workers: Ensuring a government funded $15 per hour minimum wage for human services workers throughout NYS
December 9, 2015. A new report prepared by the FPWA, Human Services Council and FPI, documents the current state of the nonprofit sector providing State-funded human services and discusses the implications of the Governor’s proposed $15 an hour minimum wage. The groups support inclusion of the nonprofit sector workers in the wage increase and make the case for increased State funding in human service contracts.
More than 200,000 human services workers across NYS are the driving force behind services like afterschool programs, child welfare, early education, services for older adults, public assistance programs, and many others vital programs. Even with full-time hours, their current wages do not meet the basic needs of individuals and families in most areas of the State; low-wage human services workers are often eligible for the same benefits as the clients they serve.
- Despite being a highly skilled workforce, the human services sector has one of the highest prevalence of low-wages in the private sector, behind food service and retail.
- Women make up 82 percent of the statewide workforce; people of color account for 50 percent of human services workers in the State.
- Human services workers are highly educated with two-thirds of workers having some college education and close to half holding bachelor’s degrees or higher.
The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Fiscal Policy Institute and the Human Services Council are leading a robust statewide coalition of nonprofit providers to call for Governor Cuomo to:
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers in New York State, including human services workers.
- Amend government human services contracts to fund the wage increase.