“Do you hear us? What do we want?”

“Just pay.”

“When do we want it?”


Alongside our human services colleagues, we advocated. We stayed up all night outside City Hall. And it paid off.

Mayor Eric Adams announced a $741 million investment for 80,000 human services workers at non-profit organizations with city contracts as part of a new cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

“This COLA is absolutely essential for an essential workforce that has long gone underrecognized,” said Damyn Kelly, JD, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lutheran Social Services of New York. “My staff and the over 80,000 human services in New York City are the second lowest paid workforce in the city because of decades of underinvestment. Human services jobs are good, caring, community jobs, often held by women and people of color. The people who do these jobs invest in our communities, and we are grateful Mayor Adams is investing in them.”

This is a major win for just pay.

Read more and watch the press conference (Dr. Kelly’s remarks are at 18:40)

Photograph of Mayor Adams and LSSNY President and CEO Dr. Damyn Kelly by Ruth Acevedo