Chapter Advocates for Cost of Living Increases in Mayor’s Executive Budget
Key Variable in Workforce Recruitment and Retention
NASW-NYC joined members of the Human Services Council of New York City (HSC) in advocacy efforts urging Mayor Bloomberg to provide cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for the employees of City-contracted not-for-profit social service agencies in the FY09 Executive Budget. The human services sector last received COLAs from the City in 2005; since that time salary values have significantly decreased. These relatively small adjustments make a difference to the workers charged with the difficult task of caring for New York’s most vulnerable populations and enhance the ability of not-for-profit agencies to recruit and retain a high-quality workforce.
The Chapter communicated within the context of this being a difficult budget year, that the City recognize the work of the human services professionals, as the State has, by offering a 3% COLA in the Executive Budget. The FY09 State Budget maintains and expands current human services COLAs until 2012 for a range of workers in the not-for-profit social services field. NASW-NYC requested that the City do its part to ensure that the value of these salaries do not erode any further.
NASW-NYC expressed that high quality services are dependent on high quality staff and COLAs are the key to recruiting and retaining a quality workforce. When regular COLAs are not provided, not-for-profit social service agencies often lose staff to employers offering salaries that keep pace with inflation.
In addition, the Chapter urged that the Mayor adopt a long-term policy in which COLAs are automatically passed on to not-for-profit contracted employees.