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New York City Childcare Providers Demand Much-Needed Pay Increase

In late May, childcare workers in New York City joined thousands of fellow human services workers to rally outside City Hall, demanding that the pending city budget increase their pay to counter the increasing cost of living.

Mary Cheng, director of childhood development services at the Chinese-American Planning Council, explains, “We’re just losing staff like no tomorrow. It’s been detrimental… I have staff struggling, on the verge of being homeless, because rent is getting higher but the paycheck is not.”

The protest comes after the Human Services Council’s prior request for a 6.5% pay increase was ignored by Mayor Eric Adams, whose executive proposal for the city’s budget failed to include funding for the pay raise.

“We have closed so many of our programs today to show what would happen to this city,” said Melissa Aase, chief executive officer of a nonprofit called University Settlement, which provides services to thousands of New Yorkers . “We need the mayor to understand what it means if we were not here.”

Take a look:

NYC child care, after-school workers pause programs to protest low wages

Many city-contracted early childhood, after-school and other organizations paused or cut back programs Thursday as thousands of human services workers stepped out to protest low wages.

The nonprofit employees, including those who work in food pantries and provide senior services, said the salaries have resulted in high turnover and difficulty recruiting qualified staff — lowering the quality of services that New Yorkers receive.

“We’re really worried that next year, without this investment, we’re going to have to close these services,” Michelle Jackson, executive director of the Human Services Council, told the Daily New as more than 100 organizations rallied outside City Hall. “We know it’s inconvenient.”

Image via New York Daily News


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