January 6, 2016
Mayor’s announcement guarantees all City & purchase of service employees will make $15/hour by end of 2018
Video available at: http://youtu.be/9UQzfMhV1cY
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced a $15 minimum wage for all City government employees and employees who provide contracted work for the City at social service organizations – meaning that by the end of 2018, approximately 50,000 additional employees will see their wages boosted to $15 an hour, making New York City a national leader in the fight to raise the wage.
“We know that nothing does more to lift up working families and move our economy forward than raising wages – and the City is leading by example by doing just that for these 50,000 additional New Yorkers,” said Mayor de Blasio. “From pre-K and affordable housing, to paid sick and parental leave, we’re taking real action for working New Yorkers.”
Under current contracts, wages are already ahead of the minimum wage increase that has been proposed in Albany. However, most contracts expire in 2017 or 2018. Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today guarantees that all employees will make $15 an hour by the end of 2018, regardless of whether their contract expires beforehand. The City will immediately work with municipal unions and social service providers to sign letters of understanding that guarantee the increased wages.
Mayor de Blasio has long fought for a $15 minimum wage on the State and federal levels. New York City is doing what is in its power and guaranteeing increased wages for its own employees. Raising the minimum wage is a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC goal of lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty over the next ten years.
Today’s news follows Mayor de Blasio’s announcement last month that he will provide six weeks fully-paid parental leave to all 20,000 unrepresented managerial and original jurisdiction employees – allowing employees to take up to 12 weeks, when combined with existing leave – and immediately move to negotiate the same benefit with municipal unions.
Direct City Employees
Over 20,000 direct city employees will benefit from the Mayor’s announcement and see their wages boosted to $15/hour by December 31, 2018 on the following schedule, with the 2015 and 2016 wages reflective of the lowest salaries under current contracts:
The employees who will benefit from this increase include school crossing guards, City seasonal aides, job training participants, and a number of other titles, largely represented by DC37.
The cost of implementing this proposal for direct City employees would be $36 million over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 2020).
Purchase of Service Employees
Mayor de Blasio is also funding this benefit for employees at social service organizations who do contracted work for the City, known as purchase of service employees. In total, approximately 30,000 purchase of service employees will benefit from the increased wages and see a $15/hour minimum wage by December 31, 2018, on the following schedule:
The 30,000 employees who will benefit from this increase include teacher aides, custodial aides, family and infant care workers, and a number of other titles.
These employees already saw their wages boosted to $11.50/hour under Mayor de Blasio’s Fiscal Year 2016 adopted budget.
The cost of implementing this proposal for Purchase of Service employees would be $202 million over the Financial Plan (through Fiscal Year 2020).
"The fight to raise the minimum wage is about more than a number-- it’s about fairness and the dignity of work. No one who works a full-time job in this country should have to live in poverty. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s action today is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do; it will give city workers a little more money in their pockets to spend in their community – and a little more breathing room and peace of mind. While Republicans in Congress continue to stand in the way of giving millions of Americans a raise, President Obama and I will continue to support city and state officials across the country who act to create shared prosperity for all workers,” said U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.
“As costs of living rise, we need to make sure that our minimum wage reflects the reality of raising a family in our city. We need to make sure hardworking New Yorkers can afford a stable roof over their heads and food on the table. Today’s announcement to raise the minimum wage to $15 for over 50,000 New York city workers is a crucial step toward this goal. We know that an empowered workforce is a strong workforce and I thank Mayor de Blasio and all the advocates for their staunch efforts in the fight for economic justice,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step to provide sustainable wages for thousands of city workers. This will bring much needed relief for these individuals and their families. We in the Assembly Majority are committed to achieving this same goal and will continue fighting to raise the minimum wage for every worker, in every industry across the state of New York,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
“Even as our city experiences unprecedented prosperity, many families have not been allowed the opportunity to share in its abundance. There are thousands of workers with full-time jobs – and sometimes multiple jobs – who cannot afford basic necessities, as the cost of housing and other fundamental needs continues to increase. The announcement by Mayor de Blasio that New York City will pay its employees and contracted workers a $15 an hour minimum wage offers hope to thousands of residents struggling to make ends meet. I will continue working with Mayor de Blasio to further efforts to secure a living wage for every worker in our communities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“This marks a new day for thousands of hard-working public employees who have been struggling to raise families and make ends meet in one of the most expensive cities in the world," said District Council 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido. "We commend Mayor de Blasio for continuing to do the right thing for working families. We have been pushing for this day since we reached a living wage agreement with the city last spring. We applaud Mayor de Blasio's effort to help all New Yorkers share in the city's economic prosperity.”
"Homecare and healthcare workers celebrate Mayor de Blasio’s announcement of a $15 minimum wage for all New York City government employees and employees who provide contracted work for the City at social service not-for-profit organizations. Among the 50,000 employees who will get a raise are 1,000 homecare workers employed by the Department for the Aging. These dedicated homecare workers bring their elderly clients to the doctor, make sure they take their medication on time, bathe them, cook and carry out all the duties that allow seniors to live with dignity. Mayor de Blasio’s bold decision has made New York City a national leader in fight to reward hard work with fair pay. Now we will continue our fight to ensure that all working New Yorkers, including all healthcare workers regardless of the funding source, make at least $15 an hour throughout the state,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.
“When New York City fast food workers launched their fight for $15 three years ago they started a movement that swept through our city and our country. Mayor de Blasio stood on the picket line with the first strikers and now he’s putting his steadfast support of fair pay in action with his plan to raise the minimum wage for city employees and city-contracted employees,” said 32BJ President Hector Figueroa. “32BJ members know what a difference good pay makes and now more than 50,000 workers will see that difference for themselves. This is good for these workers and their families, good for their communities and good for our city,” said Hector Figueroa, President, SEIU 32BJ.
“I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step. Making sure that working people earn a living wage not only strengthens families, but helps preserve the economic diversity – and vitality – of New York City,” Michael Mulgrew, president, United Federation of Teachers.
“By raising the minimum wage of city employees to $15 per hour, mayor de Blasio has given 50,000 New Yorkers the raise they deserve. His action will help lift tens of thousands of families out of poverty, and we are proud to stand with the mayor as he continues to fight for the middle class in New York City,” said Peter Ward, President, New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council.
“Mayor de Blasio’s proposal is a real step forward in ensuring that New York City’s working men and women have the tools they need to help with the rising costs of everyday living expenses in our city,” said Vincent Alvarez, President of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “The raise will provide a much needed wage boost for the hardworking city employees who have had to try to make ends meet on wages that have consistently fallen short. The New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO remains committed to continuing the fight to raise wages for all workers.”
"Ever since he took to the streets in solidarity with fast-food workers in their first strikes three years ago, Mayor de Blasio has been a leader in the Fight for $15. Today, New York City in taking another giant step forward in that fight, and our city will be better for it," said Bill Lipton, NY State Director, Working Families Party.
"Candidate Bill de Blasio campaigned on a pledge to address the gaping levels of inequality that plague New York City. Now Mayor de Blasio is once again taking a major, concrete step to address that inequality by raising the wages of 50,000 hard-working New Yorkers who provide vital services to our city at poverty wages. We congratulate the Mayor on his efforts to rewrite the ending to New York's ‘tale of two cities’," said Robert Master, Political and Legislative Director of the Communication Workers of America.
“This is a welcome step in the road toward salary parity for all city workers. I applaud the Mayor for this action, which will positively impact the lives of so many of our fellow city residents,” said Council of School Supervisors & Administrators President Ernest Logan.
:The action by Mayor De Blasio to raise the minimum wage for NYC government workers to $15 set a standard for unionized workers in our city. If we want to improve the lives of millions of New Yorkers, raising the minimum wage for everyone is the right thing to do. Workers shouldn't have to raise their families in poverty" Jose Maldonado, UNITE HERE Local 100, Secretary Treasurer.
“Doctors Council SEIU represents the frontline physicians and dentists who take care of New York City patients and communities. We applaud the Mayor in his continuing efforts to improve the lives of all New Yorkers, be it through a minimum wage of $15 an hour, access to universal pre-K, affordable housing, mental health assistance and other vital issues. When conditions exist for all New Yorkers to have equal access to fair and just social and economic conditions, this will aid in improving the health of all our communities. As doctors, we are concerned with the overall health of all our patients, and these policies improve our patients' lives. A $15 minimum wage is one important part of these overall efforts for one fair and healthy New York City for all," said Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council SEIU.
"Bravo to Mayor de Blasio! It is always music to our ears when the labor of hard working New Yorkers is recognized and rewarded. New York's professional musicians and culture workers stand with our municipal employee brothers and sisters, as we all work together every day to ensure this city is a humane place to live, work and raise a family. We are proud that our city is setting an example for how working people should be treated," said Tino Gagliardi, president of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, Local 802 AFM.
"Mayor de Blasio's leadership on income inequality has not only helped shape the national debate on low wage work, but has brought forth real results," said Julie Kushner, Director, UAW Region 9A. "Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour should be the national standard. Today's announcement by the Mayor moves us closer to that goal."
“Government contracted human services agency workers provide vital care for our city's most vulnerable individuals and families across all generations, but the wages paid under these contracts have often left them eligible for the same income supports as the clients they serve", said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. "Mayor de Blasio's commitment to fund a $15 per hour wage for human services workers is an essential step forward in ensuring a living wage for an essential New York City workforce, and yet another demonstration of his commitment to achieving income equity for all.”
"We applaud Mayor de Blasio's visionary decision to guarantee a $15 minimum wage for nonprofit human services providers serving under government contracts. This critical investment will strengthen the ability of these workers to deliver essential government services that combat poverty, foster equity, and promote the health and well-being of residents across the city. We are grateful to the Mayor for his commitment to our workforce and to strengthening communities," said Allison Sesso, Executive Director, Human Services Council.
"We congratulate Mayor de Blasio for taking this bold and historic step to significantly raise the wages of tens of thousands of underpaid non-profit workers. The Mayor is truly leading by example as the City of New York becomes the first government entity in the United States to take responsibility for its entire indirect workforce providing essential City human services under contract with hundreds of non-profit organizations, both citywide and community-based, by providing the funding to raise wages to at least $15 an hour," said James Parrott, Deputy Director and Chief Economist, Fiscal Policy Institute.
“Income inequality affects virtually every aspect of daily life in our cities — and as more people find jobs in a growing economy, local leaders have a unique responsibility to take meaningful steps that improve quality of life for the people who live and work in our communities,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who led a successful movement to raise his city’s minimum wage to $15. “A big part of that responsibility is doing all we can to make sure that wages keep pace with the cost of living. Mayor de Blasio’s leadership means better incomes for working people who deserve a raise,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
“In January 2014, I signed the first Executive Order of my Administration to direct that every City of Seattle worker should earn at least $15 an hour,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “All workers, whether they are public employees or not, deserve a living wage. Congratulations to Mayor de Blasio and the City of New York for moving ahead with this important progressive initiative in support of families.”
"I applaud Mayor de Blasio for leading the nation in the fight for $15 for City employees and workers of not-for-profit organizations contracted by the City. No one who works full-time should struggle to put food on the table. Ensuring a living wage is not just about providing fair compensation, but also preserving justice and dignity for working families. In Congress I will keep fighting to increase the federal minimum wage," said Congressman Charles Rangel.
"Our economy has shown tremendous improvement since the Great Recession, with 70 consecutive months of uninterrupted job growth. However, wages have remained stagnant for millions of families across the country," said Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "Nowhere has that been more apparent than in New York, where the already high cost of living has put the financial squeeze on thousands of workers. I have long supported a $15 minimum wage for New York, and as a cosponsor of a $15 an hour bill in Congress, I believe it's time we fairly compensated all workers across America. Once again New York is leading the way, and I commend Mayor de Blasio for his action on this important economic issue."
“I commend the move to boost the minimum wage to $15 for New York City workers,” said Congresswoman Grace Meng. “It’s the right thing to do and makes our city a leader in the fight to raise the minimum wage.”
“In an age of stagnating wages and increasing income inequality, we must do everything we can to demonstrate our commitment to a fairer future for all New Yorkers,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “Unfortunately, many working families continue to struggle to get by on remarkably low wages. The current workers' wage is simply not enough to live on, which is why I commend Mayor De Blasio for providing a living wage of $15 to all City workers. Once again, New York City provides an example of how we can combat poverty and expand opportunity for everyone with fair wages.”
"No one who works full time should be living in poverty, unable to buy food or afford housing. Government in particular should be setting an example for other employers. So I applaud the Mayor’s announcement today that the city will transition to a living wage for all of its employees. This is an important step on the road to ensuring that every New Yorker gets a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work," said State Senator Liz Krueger.
“Securing a higher wage for almost 300,000 of our city's public employees and non for profit contractors is a great achievement. This raise will allow thousands of hard working New Yorkers to earn a decent living wage so that they can provide adequately for themselves and their families," said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. "We should continue working together at all levels of government to ensure every single New Yorker earns a livable wage and I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and his administration for this valuable effort."
"I commend Mayor de Blasio and the leaders of DC37, CWA, DC1707 and others for taking this step to raise the floor for thousands of public servants. This is the kind of collaboration between labor and government that will deliver real economic justice for workers," said State Senator Diane Savino.
“The City's announcement brings us a step closer to a fair day's wage for a fair day's work," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "I'm proud to have introduced the first $15 wage bill in the state, and look forward to continue working with city and state colleagues in the fight for $15.
“I would like to congratulate the Mayor for raising the wages of city employees. I am especially pleased to see the 20,000 unionized workers, including school crossing guards making only 11.79 per hour, to finally get paid a fair wage. It is a great day to see that the unions did not have to negotiate or give up a benefit to get a raise in their wages. By adding addendums to their current contracts, the mayor has shown a real commitment to providing an increase to all low paid city workers; both union and non-union,” said Assembly Member Michael Dendekker.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio and this Administration for making the right decision and raising the minimum wage to $15 for 50,000 families in our City,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “This announcement sends a message to fellow New Yorkers across our City - government can, and at every opportunity must, uplift its citizens. Our City is making real progress in the battle against inequality and this announcement will improve the lives of tens of thousands of hardworking New Yorkers.”
“Today New York City takes an important step in the fight for wage equality. Increasing the minimum wage for all city employees and employees who work at not-for-profit organizations will dramatically change the economic outlook for thousands of our fellow New Yorkers. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his continued and outspoken leadership on the important issue for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
“This announcement represents a huge step forward for tens of thousands of workers struggling to provide for their families even as they work to make our City a better place for others. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his commitment to a living wage and achieving economic fairness for workers who for too long have been denied their chance to achieve the American Dream of prosperity and a better life for themselves and their children,” said Council Member Margaret Chin.
Council Member Costa Constantinides said, "A $15 minimum wage for all city workers brings financial stability to our working men and women, and benefits our economy. All those who dedicate their working life to our city should be treated fairly by the city and given a living wage. This decision will ensure that we are a national role model for how we treat and compensate our city workforce. Every worker deserves a fair wage to support their family. I commend Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this important issue."
“Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to increase the wages of city workers is a key expression of our city’s commitment to tackle inequality and spread opportunity. Civil service has historically been a path to the middle class for residents of central Brooklyn and this change ensures that this will continue to be the case, despite increasing costs of living. I applaud this wholeheartedly and hope that it will be a model for business owners across New York City,” said Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. Chair of the Committee on Small Business.
"This pay increase will provide an essential workforce with a livable wage -- something that is well-deserved and long overdue. For far too long, workers have been subjected to poverty conditions, but this raise will lift them up, ensure economic justice and benefit the entire City. I thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for this measure and his commitment to all New Yorkers," said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.
“The struggle to make ends meet is common in households across New York City, including public servants who work as city government employees. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for raising the minimum wage to $15 by 2018, which will ensure that hard-working New Yorkers will not be displaced by rising rents and can continue to sustain the communities they built,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo.
“Today I recognize and give thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his incredible effort to correct a great injustice to the thousands of City workers trying to provide for their families by increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. It is only right for the City to commit to the same effort we ask of the private sector in ensuring workers receive a living wage. As millions of New Yorkers fight against the rising tide of unaffordable housing, healthcare and the rising cost of education, the City has pushed major corporations doing business here to pay their workers a salary that allows them to remain here. Mayor de Blasio’s plan will now allow City workers and those non-profits and businesses contracting with the City to close the commitment gap to offering a true living wage,” said Council Member Inez E. Dickens.
"Our working families deserve sustainable wages and financial security," said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm. "I applaud Mayor de Blasio for guaranteeing a $15 minimum wage for all NYC government employees and social service organization employees who contract with the city. I will continue to support this and other actions that will help lift thousands of New Yorkers out of poverty and into the middle class."
“All hard-working employees deserve to make a living wage. With New York City’s high living costs, a $15 minimum wage for all city government employees is a step in the right direction to ensuring higher pay for hard workers throughout the city. This pay increase will help 50,000 families live life a little more comfortably and I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio for making wage increases for our workers a top priority,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene.
“New York City is sending a clear message that we respect the work and time of every individual who directly or indirectly helps keep this city on its feet. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will support our working families and is worth every penny. I applaud the mayor for starting the New Year on the right foot with this commitment to a living wage for city workers,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
“City and City contracted employees are the backbone of our great City. I am thrilled that these dedicated men and women will be receiving a minimum wage that allows them to safely and comfortably live in the City they serve. I thank Mayor de Blasio for investing in our City's workforce and commend him for his continued efforts to address income inequality,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson.
“New Yorkers who work as lifeguards, crossing guards, child care workers, and in other critical positions are entrusted every day with the safety of our family members; they are long past due for the opportunity to earn a wage that can help them deal with rising costs of living and better provide for their own families,” said Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik.
If New Yorkers are going to keep up with the rapidly rising cost of living in our City, we need to make sure that they are earning a living wage,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “With a $15 minimum wage for City workers, thousands of hardworking New Yorkers will be in a better position to provide for their families, afford rent, and take part in what New York City has to offer. This is exactly the kind of action that we need in order to close the stark inequality gap that has plagued our City for too long. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking this important step, which will provide greater fairness and economic stability for thousands of New Yorkers.”
"New York City is leading by example – with a $15 minimum wage for all city employees and not-for-profits contract with the City by 2018," said Council Member Ben Kallos, a labor lawyer. "Thank you to Mayor de Blasio for providing a $15 minimum wage to 50,000 direct and indirect City employees."
“Daily, hard-working constituents walk into my office in the Bronx asking for help to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table to feed their families. New Yorkers who work full-time hours shouldn’t have to raise their family in poverty conditions. The move to raise wages to $15 an hour by 2018 will not only lift our city’s economy but the morale of thousands of city and non-profit employees. I applaud Mayor de Blasio who has been pushing for this minimum wage increase statewide and is leading by example here in New York City,” said Council Member Andy King, Co-Chair of the Black, Latino & Asian Caucus.
"Everyone who works hard deserves to earn enough to feed their family and pay the rent -- and that goes double for City workers and contractors like school crossing guards, day care, and home care workers. I'm proud that New York City is at the forefront in the Fight for $15," said Council Member Brad Lander.
“Today’s announcement is yet another important victory for working families. I thank the Administration for its bold commitment to fair wages and compensation to those who deliver such important services to our City and its most vulnerable populations,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Chair of the Committee on Civil Service and Labor. “I look forward to continue to partner with the Administration and my colleagues in the Council, along with DC 37 and Henry Garrido who are essential parts of today’s announcement, as we continue to move the fair wage campaign forward.”
“Today's announcement is a huge victory for the working poor who dedicate their lives to making sure our city runs on a daily basis," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "The fight for 15 continues to improve lives all across the city and I look forward to teaming up with Mayor de Blasio and my colleagues in the Council as we work to ensure that every New Yorker makes a living wage," said Council Member Donovan Richards.
"Long a champion of a living wage, today Mayor de Blasio makes a major statement with a substantial increase in City workers' pay," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "The tide is turning, both here in New York and around the country, for workers who were left behind during the so-called recovery. New York is and always will be a city for workers and this move adds to the efforts to provide the means to all New Yorkers to live here comfortably."
“As a longtime supporter of a minimum wage increase for all New Yorkers, I applaud the mayor’s announcement today as a meaningful step toward reducing income inequality in our city. Today’s action will have ripple effects far beyond the 50,000 working families directly affected. History has shown us that raising wages not only lifts people out of poverty but it reduces dependence on public benefits and spurs economic activity,” said Council Member Debi Rose.
"In my November Contracts hearing, I heard about the struggle of human service workers, under city contract, making less than $11.50/hour, and our message to the administration was clear: New York City's workers need $15 an hour. Most of these workers are women -- women who are the glue for their families and communities -- and by raising their wages, we are directly improving the quality of life for their families. Among the city direct employees who will benefit from this increase in wages are the school crossing guards. The increase in wages to $15/hour will directly address our shortage of crossing guards on the Upper West Side and throughout New York City. Keeping our children safe when they cross the street, giving dignity to workers in day care and social service centers, supporting our elder-care workers -- so much will be achieved by Mayor Bill de Blasio's decision to increase all City employees and nonprofit contractors a more meaningful wage of $15 an hour," said Contracts Committee Chair Helen Rosenthal.
“The Mayor’s bold decision to raise city employees’ wages to $15/hour will help thousands of workers make ends meet and have a chance at reaching the middle class. It is a step that will have a positive impact on our city’s economy and will ensure working families have a strong financial foundation,” said Council Member Ritchie Torres.
“Workers throughout our country are continuously engaged in a struggle for a living wage and the economic security that come with it. I’m pleased that the City has chosen to lead by example with the institution of the $15 minimum wage for all city and city-contracted employees,” said Council Member James Vacca. “The cost of living is soaring, with housing, food and medicine becoming unaffordable for an increasing percentage of the population. Increasing wages is one of the most effective tools the government has to bring people out of poverty and secure a stable economic future for its people.”
“The NAACP believes that every person is entitled to work for a living wage in this country and we applaud the Mayor in giving a living wage to our civil servants. Workers who are the backbone of our great city that delivers services to the public daily,” said Hazel Dukes, President of the New York Chapter of the NAACP.
“A $15 minimum wage will be good for business as well as for workers. Fair pay is a crucial part of the recipe for success at Ben & Jerry’s. We’ve paid a living wage for more than 20 years, sparing our employees the struggle of trying to make it on wages that don't even cover basic expenses. In return, our company is spared the cost of high employee turnover and our bottom line is boosted by good company morale, greater worker retention and commitment, and more satisfied customers. Workers now struggling to make ends meet will take their additional pay from minimum wage increases and spend it – increasing sales at businesses across New York and strengthening local communities,” Jeff Furman, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.
“As Chairperson of the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce, which provides valuable services to over 30,000 business and civic leaders who represent the backbone of the Greater New York business community, we support increasing the minimum wage. There is no question that business owners are wary of any additional cost but most business owners care for and worry about their employees and note on a daily basis the negative effect of dwindling spending power in the face of rising prices that low paid hourly workers face,” said Cynthia D. DiBartolo, Chairperson, Greater New York Chamber of Commerce and Chief Executive Officer, Tigress Financial Partners LLC.
"Mayor de Blasio's clear commitment to fighting inequality is good for workers, good for families and good for neighborhood small businesses all across New York," said Michael Kink, Executive Director of the Strong Economy for All Coalition. "Lifting families out of poverty by boosting paychecks is the right thing to do – and it also means more paying customers in shops, stores and restaurants, boosting growth and broadening prosperity."
“With today’s historic announcement, Mayor de Blasio once again makes good on his deep commitment to combat inequality and to do everything he can for working New Yorkers. These raises, and his recent action to give workers access to paid parental leave, make New York City the national leader among cities promoting opportunity and justice for working families,” said Andrew Friedman, Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy.
Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizen Action of New York, said, “The Fight for $15 – for a wage that ensures families can pay for the very basics they need to survive – started right here in New York City three years ago. Mayor de Blasio’s announcement today is a huge step forward in that fight and we can’t stop until every single worker in this state is making at least $15 an hour.”
“With the City’s commitment to a $15 per hour minimum wage, homeless service organizations like Win will better be able to hire and retain quality staff to fulfill our mission of making sure homeless women and families have access to the supportive services they need to gain independence and self-sufficiency. This move is a significant milestone in the effort to raise the minimum wage to a livable standard, helping provide greater economic security and attacking growing income equality, which is forcing hundreds of thousands of working people closer to poverty and homelessness every day,” said Christine Quinn, President and CEO of Women In Need.
"Organizations on the front lines of fighting poverty must take extra care to ensure that our own employees earn sufficient wages," said Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. "We thank Mayor de Blasio for his effective, progressive leadership in helping nonprofit groups obtain more resources to meet that vital goal."
“United Neighborhood Houses applauds Mayor de Blasio’s decision to raise the minimum wage for City employees and nonprofit staff working under contract with the City to $15/hour by 2018. The nonprofit workforce tasked with delivering vital human services to New Yorkers in need, from childcare workers to homeless assistance staff, all too often struggle to make their own ends meet. UNH believes that those workers fighting to help individuals and families escape poverty should not be forced to live in poverty themselves. We welcome the Mayor’s leadership and look forward to working with the administration to implement this proposal for the City’s nonprofit workforce,” said Susan G. Stamler, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Houses.
“Our staff are on the frontline every day, and we play a critical role in our City’s continued success and vibrant quality-of-life. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for ensuring a living wage for the human services workers who serve the most vulnerable among us,” said Jeremy Christopher Kohomban, Ph.D.
“The Legal Aid Society is thrilled that the City of New York is giving hard-working low-income New Yorkers a raise. Everyone working a full time job should be able to support their family. The current state minimum wage in New York is $9/hour, which translates into $18,000/year. With the high cost of living in New York, that is insufficient to support an individual - let alone a family. Raising the minimum wage to $15/hour for city workers will provide New York City workers with the opportunity to become more self-sufficient. We look forward to the day when all workers will get a similar chance,” said Karen Cacace, Director of Employment Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society
Ariel Zwang, CEO Safe Horizon said, “I wholeheartedly applaud Mayor de Blasio for raising wages for tens of thousands of City and non-profit employees, including those at Safe Horizon. The $15 per hour minimum wage will more adequately compensate our advocates and caregivers who work tirelessly every day to respond to victims of crime and their families. I thank Mayor de Blasio and his Administration for recognizing that the strongest response to New Yorkers in need can only come from a healthy non-profit sector, and the $15 per hour minimum wage is a critical step toward that goal.”
“Homeless Services United, its members and our over 14,000 hardworking homeless services staff welcome today’s announcement that we will begin to be able to offer higher wages to those who dedicate their days and nights ensuring that homeless New Yorkers in crisis are supported. Many of our workers are just a paycheck and a crisis away from housing instability and we must make every effort to retain and recruit qualified and big hearted New Yorkers who work for the City’s non-profit human services providers,” said Christy Parque, Executive Director, Homeless Services United, Inc.
"Our employees work to help children, youth and families rise above poverty in New York City -- but, too often, they live on the edge of, or below, that poverty line themselves," said Dianne Morales, Executive Director & CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. "The increased minimum wage will support these employees, allowing them to continue making a significant impact on the people of New York City."
“We applaud the City’s minimum wage increase for 50,000 men and women who are providing vital services to their fellow New Yorkers. At Project Renewal, today’s announcement is a game-changer for hundreds of our employees and their families. Mayor de Blasio has taken a major step towards ensuring that all working New Yorkers have a decent wage," said Mitchell Netburn, President & CEO, Project Renewal, Inc.
“At Brooklyn Community Services, our focus is on empowering low income families in our community, so we are very mindful of the struggles faced by many of the dedicated employees who make our work possible, as they, too, strive to support their own families. We applaud Mayor de Blasio’s efforts to ensure the fiscal stability of nonprofit service providers like BCS, and we’re especially grateful for today’s commitment to a living wage for our workforce,” said Marla Simpson, Executive Director of Brooklyn Community Services.
“The Mayor’s announcement to fund an increase in social service contracts to bring nonprofit workers to $15 per hour by 2018 invests in both our human services nonprofit workers and those they serve. Many of our dedicated human service employees, despite working to provide New Yorkers essential services and housing, live in poverty and struggle to pay their rent and meet basic family needs. As there is also a direct correlation between low staff salaries and high staff turnover, an investment in our workforce is also an investment in the over 1,000 homeless New Yorkers we serve each year. We look forward to implementing this much needed wage increase at the City level, and look to Governor Cuomo to respond in kind for nonprofit workers paid through State contracts,” said Frederick Shack, CEO of Urban Pathways.
“We applaud the Mayor for continuing to take a stand for working people by ushering in a $15 minimum wage for all City workers and contracts. Of the 50,000 New Yorkers who will benefit from the pay increase, many are Asian immigrants who will now have a better means to improve life for themselves and their families. In particular, those working in non-profit organizations that are contracted with the City will receive a fairer wage to serve the most vulnerable residents of our City,” said Jo-Ann Yoo, Asian Federation.
Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid of The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood said,
“Two years ago during his inaugural speech, Mayor Bill De Blasio vowed to represent New Yorkers who stand for social and economic justice. Today, with his announcement of raising the minimum wage in New York City to $15 an hour for 50,000 of its employees by two years from now, our progressive mayor takes yet another meaningful step towards fulfillment of his promise. I applaud him for his advocacy and leadership for change, that lifts up working families and benefits those most in need in our city.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio today for yet another step in the right direction of raising the quality of life for all New Yorkers. As one of the leaders in the living wage movement, I am a believer that poverty is manmade and we have the power to change the conditions and well-being of our people. While we have a long way to go, we must forge ahead with what’s in our power to do in this moment, and for this I am grateful,” said Reverend Que English, Senior Pastor at Bronx, Christian Fellowship, Co-Founder of New York City Clergy Roundtable
“As residents of one of the world's most expensive cities, New Yorkers desperately need a sustainable living wage. A raise in minimum wage will help NYC's most marginalized of workers, many of whom are women, single mothers and immigrants, who work extremely hard and still struggle to put food on the table. We very much applaud our Mayor's effort to raise the minimum wage and hope all employers will follow suit soon. As a community based agency that is committed to assisting the working poor, Chhaya CDC greatly appreciates Mayor De Blasio's focus on the most vulnerable New Yorkers,” said Afreen Alam, Executive Director, Chhaya CDC.
“On behalf of Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS), we are thrilled to hear of the Mayor's announcement that the minimum wage will be increased to $15 by 2018. This will affect 50,000 people working in New York, both as City employees and as employees who work at not-for-profit agencies contracted by the City, which includes KCS. We are looking forward to offering our staff higher wages for the amazing work that they do in contributing to our communities. Many of them are immigrants themselves, and this age increase, along with paid sick leave and paid parental leave, will help our families to improve their quality of life and reward them for the hard work they do. We would like to thank all of the elected officials involved who made this possible,” said Linda Lee, MSW, Executive Director, Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York, Inc. (KCS).
"The decision of Mayor de Blasio to establish a $15 an hour minimum wage for city workers and workers of organizations with city service contracts represents a quantum leap forward in the fight against income inequality and poverty as well as a display of sound economic policy. This investment in 50,000 direct and indirect city employees will pay exponential dividends to the city from this time forward. We at the National Action Network applaud this historic and courageous action by Mayor de Blasio and eagerly anticipate this progressive policy shift infusing greater momentum in the movement towards a national $15 an hour minimum wage,” said Minister Kirsten John Foy, Northeast Regional Director of the National Action Network.
“At NHSNQ, we commend Mayor de Blasio’s who is leading by example in offering dignified wages for more than 50,000 workers. Fair wages is paramount to the sustainability and health of our neighbourhoods and its aligned with our mission of preserving affordability in NYC. As an organization with several City contracts – paying a minimum of $15 is a no brainer as it goes to the core of values in preventing displacement of low- and moderate-income new Yorkers. Today’s announcement is a great Tres Reyes gifts to thousands of New Yorkers as support their economic upward mobility,” said Yoselin Genao-Estrella, Executive Director of Neighborhood, Housing Services of Northern Queens.
"The Islamic Leadership Council, a long supporter of the push to raise the minimum wage, commends Mayor Bill de Blasio for taking such a bold step in support of City and non-profit workers who selflessly serve our communities. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will help the nearly 50,000 employees to improve the quality of life of their families with less hardship. We are pleased that Mayor de Blasio is leading by example, and we hope that all sectors of our economy will follow suit," said Dr. Abdel Hafid Djemil, President of Majlis Ashura, the Islamic Leadership Council of New York.
“Thank you Mayor de Blasio for taking this bold step in making sure city employees and non-profit workers earn a living wage. This raise will lift thousands of families out of poverty, Once again the Mayor makes good on his promise to combat inequality in this great city,” said Rabbi Moishe Indig.
"The de Blasio administration deserves applause for raising the wages of City employees at nonprofit organizations to $15. It's a great new development, at the top of the New Year, for working families and for workplace equity," said Reverend Andrew Wilkes, The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, Associate Pastor of Young Adults and Social Justice.
We applaud Mayor de Blasio for taking meaningful strides towards addressing income inequality and bettering the economic well-being of our city. Raising wages for 50,000 low-wage union workers and nonprofit employees contracted with the city will have a significant positive impact on working families and our economy as a whole. This announcement is a welcome change in the nonprofit sector and aligns closely with the values and principles we hold dear at the Hispanic Federation. This action by the de Blasio administration serves as a model for what other cities across America can do to help uplift our families and communities,” said Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation.
“Raising the minimum wage is good for low-wage workers and it’s good for New York City. It says to thousands of hardworking people, including immigrant workers, that their work is valuable and deserving of a fair wage. We applaud New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for standing up for the city's workers and for making New York City a national leader in the fight to raise the wage for all working people,” said Steven Choi, Executive Director of the New York Immigration Coalition.
“Greetings as President of the Jamaica Branch NAACP, I am happy to see the mayor take the initiative to improve wages for low income workers. It is tragic when after working all day one can barely make enough money to provide for his or her family, and can barely afford to live in the city they work in. The current low wages has a disparate impact on Minority Members of our City. The benefits of the wage increase will reverberate throughout our communities with; increased tax revenue for our schools and governmental services, increased spending power of our community members which will lead to additional employment of others etc. This pay raise bring about an endless list of benefits to the community,” said Leroy Gadsden, President of Jamaica Branch NAACP.
“We appreciate the exemplary leadership Mayor Bill de Blasio is showing by again taking action to lift up working families, including many low-wage immigrant workers employed by the city. Today’s announcement assures the momentum continues in the fight for a $15 minimum wage for all New Yorkers,” said Manuel Castro, Executive Director, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE).
“I would like to applaud Mayor de Blasio in his steadfast efforts in implementing the wage increase for the citizens of New York City,” said Dr. Kim Best, President of the 79th Precinct Community Council.
“I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking a major step in addressing income inequality on our City. Raising the minimum wage stimulates our economy and helps to lift our communities out of poverty. Congratulations to the administration and all of the community advocates who made this tremendous victory possible,” said Rob Solano, Executive Director of Churches United For Fair Housing, Inc..
“No one should work a full time job and still live in poverty. I want to congratulate the Mayor and the advocates for boldly confronting income inequality by raising the minimum wage to $15 dollars and hour for City employees and employees of non-profits who receive City contracts. This is a huge victory for more than 50,000 working families in our communities,” said Jesus Gonzalez, Churches United for Fair Housing, Inc..
“This is a first step in the right direction. This will help alleviate some of the financial burdens of the 50,000 City employees and the employees from the Not for Profit sector who are sometimes faced with same issues as the community they serve,” said Jose Tejada, Executive Director, Dominico American Society.
“The Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition welcomes the news of the Mayor's action to raise the wage of 50,000 municipal workers to $15 per hour. This action constitutes a very necessary and important step toward economic justice in our city----that of attaining a living wage for all New Yorkers,” said Rabbi Michael E. Feinberg, Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition.
“We are thrilled that Mayor de Blasio is starting 2016 by raising the wages for 50,000 New Yorkers. Over the past few years, we’ve been so inspired as we’ve watched the Fight for $15 grow from a grassroots effort into a nationwide movement responsible for groundbreaking legislation. Jewish communities in New York and beyond are proud to work together in support of the Fight for $15 because we know that poverty effects all of us, and that all employees should have the right to organize and earn a fair living wage,” said Ann Toback, Executive Director, The Workmen’s Circle.