“What do we want? MORE MONEY! Who do we want it for? HOME CARE WORKERS!” chanted home care workers and their supporters at the NYC office of the NY Governor on March 18.
The Community Based Home Care (CBHC) working group called on NY State to include fairer pay for home care workers in the budget, which would increase home care minimum wage to 150% of the regional minimum wage. CBHC is comprised of community organizations who provide home care services. The organizations in CBHC are: Selfhelp Community Services, CPC, RiseBoro, RAIN, St. Nicks Alliance, NY Foundation for Seniors, JASA, BHRAGS, Rockaway HC, CABS, and Sunnyside Community Services.
The wage increase will provide this essential workforce (that is mostly women, immigrants, and people of color) with living wages and better reflect the important, skilled work that they do. The pay increase will also be a critical step towards addressing the home care workforce shortage. New York State is facing a growing demand for home care while a shortage of 80,000 jobs is projected in the coming year — poor pay is at the root of this workforce shortage.
, RN., BSN is St. Nicks Alliance’s director of elder care. She said, “New York City home care workers remained on the front lines during the pandemic, ensuring that elderly and disabled New Yorkers could remain safely in their homes during this time of crisis. They did this with little public fanfare or recognition and while earning low wages. It’s time to compensate them fairly for their valuable work and help their employers recruit and retain new employees by ensuring a fair living wage for all.”