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NASW-NYC Strategy for Addressing Equitable Social Work Salaries
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NASW-NYC Strategy for Addressing
Equitable Social Work Salaries

January 27, 2014


The economic factors underpinning how salaries are determined, along with whether social workers are sufficiently valued, present significant hurdles to getting employers to raise salaries to equitable levels.  In addition, NASW is not a labor union and is not permitted by law to call a strike or a boycott.  Nevertheless, we must not be silenced by these circumstances; we see these as challenge to be addressed. 

The following activities will be undertaken in the coming months:

1.Building a groundswell of support

  • This is a critical first step in addressing equitable salaries.
  • The more social workers and supporters who sign onto this campaign, the more likely it will be sustained into the future.  This is essential given the long-term commitment needed to carry this campaign out.

2.Conducting Salary Survey of What Employers Pay

  • The survey is underway and additional information is needed.
  • This should be completed by March 2014.
  • Data about what employers pay social workers is key to backing up claims that salaries are not equitable in their reflection of education, experience, and value, over years of service.

3.Issuing updated Salary Guidelines

  • The NASW-NYC Guidelines for minimum salaries was recently approved in January, 2014.
  • These Guidelines will be disseminated widely.

4.Meeting with Government Officials

  • With newly elected government officials in City Hall, meetings will be initiated over several months to discuss social work salaries as an issue.
  • NASW-NYC will examine how the City will be addressing salaries of government employees and others and seek out opportunities for making the case for social work.

5.Identifying how selected employers and unions have successfully addressed equitable social work salaries

  • NASW-NYC will be compiling examples of how organizations have attempted to raise salaries.
  • Success stories from executive directors and CEOs, among others, who are themselves social workers and who have addressed sala, will be put forward as case studies and toolks to be used by others interested in furthering this advocacy work.

6.Communicating with Employers by Sector

  • NASW-NYC will communicate with several hundred social work employers about the critical need for equitable salaries.
  • Initial, informal discussions about the Salary Campaign with umbrella organizations that represent employers have been met with an acknowledgement that salaries are too low and expressions of support for this Campaign.
  • NASW-NYC will make it clear to employers that it is representing the broad social work community, that there is a groundswell of support, but is not specifically representing the staff of any given organization.
  • NASW-NYC will be recommending that equitable social work salaries be made a priority of the organization, and that making salary adjustments should become part of the organizations’ strategic plan and fund raising objectives, and that it be a priority of the organization’s board of directors as well as executive management.

To sign on to the statement and campaign click here

To read the full statement click here

To learn about the specific activities planned by NASW-NYC click here


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