For Immediate Release: February 10, 2020
Coalition of domestic worker and employer groups call for an investment in paid care work
New York City, NY—The National Domestic Workers Alliance, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, Adhikaar and Carroll Gardens Association call on New York City elected officials to adopt a new NYC Care Campaign platform to both invest in the care sector as well address the needs of domestic workers, parents, family caregivers, seniors and people with disabilities.
The NYC Care Campaign aims to transform New York City’s care economy to one that is equitable and sustainable for all. The campaign is building power of domestic workers, employers and family caregivers to influence mayoral and city council elections to transform the care sector towards a sustainable, fair and equitable sector.
“As COVID-19 has shown us, care workers, including domestic workers employed in private homes, are essential to New York City’s economy. Yet these jobs remain underpaid, undervalued, and without benefits. New York City’s 200,000 domestic workers are largely immigrant women of color— further exacerbating the racial and economic injustices that are far too prevalent in our city,” said Marrisa Senteno New York Co-Director of the National Domestic Worker Alliance.
This newly released fact sheet, shows just how dramatic the growing need for paid care work is. “Every year, paid care work adds more jobs to New York City’s economy than all of the next 7 top occupations—more than nurses, fast food workers, building cleaners, accountants, and software developers combined. This growth is most dramatic among home care aides, who play a central role in supporting the city’s aging population and people with disabilities,” said Isaac Jabola-Carolus, researcher at the CUNY Graduate Center.
“We are in the midst of a care crisis. We need elected officials who are willing to invest in what we need most— better care jobs and more support those who need care. This includes investment in childcare, support for seniors and people with disabilities, labor and human rights protections for domestic workers, funding for employer outreach and education to enforce already existing laws and more,” said Tatiana Bejar, Lead Organizer Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, an organization of nanny, house cleaner, and home attendant employers.
“We need health insurance and a retirement plan for all workers. Health insurance is very important right now for all domestic workers regardless of our status because we are deemed essential workers right now. We are essential workers that take care of our children and clean homes. We need to go into work during this pandemic, we should get the same rights as other essential workers with health and safety measures put in place to protect us by the government.” —Sita Tamang, Adhikaar Campaign Committee member, Nepali Domestic Worker.
“Adhikaar represents over 1,600 Nepali-speaking domestic workers and has been organizing for domestic workers rights with partners like NDWA since our inception in 2005, and helped successfully pass the first-ever bill of rights in 2010. During this pandemic, we’ve seen our members put their lives on the line and go into work every day to do their jobs. They do not have the luxury to work from home. Workers in the care industry make this city run. The launch of this platform is another big milestone for this movement in NYC, and our membership is boldly leading this campaign to expand worker protections and rights in this city. We look forward to moving our issues and our members’ policy ideas across the 2021 city elections.” —Pabitra Benjamin, Executive Director of Adhikaar
“Domestic workers should already have the support of our government. We should not have to jump through hoops to get basic rights that have never been met. We deserve the same benefits as teachers and blue-collar workers: paid sick days, vacation, and personal days. We deserve medical coverage and 401K plans. We vote for our NYC elected representatives and we need for them to step up and represent us.” —Kenya Williams, Domestic Worker, CGA Member
“I am a domestic employer who hires a nanny to take care of my two children. My part is to provide fair, respectful employment that doesn’t create a precarious situation for the person I depend on. NYC should be supporting fair employment, instead of leaving it to employers and workers to figure it out home by home — or fail to figure it out.” —Reha Sterbin, Nanny Employer, Hand in Hand Member
About National Domestic Workers Alliance: National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. NDWA has created Alia, an online platform to help domestic workers access benefits, not otherwise granted to them, in addition to proposing a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights with Senator Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.
About Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network: Hand in Hand is a national organization of employers of nanny, house cleaner and home attendants and allies. Hand-in-Hand organizes for dignified and respectful working conditions that benefit domestic workers and employers alike. We envision a future where people live in caring communities that recognize all of our interdependence. To get there, we support employers to improve their employment practices, and to collaborate with workers to change cultural norms and public policies. http://domesticemployers.org
About Adhikaar: Adhikaar is the only women-led community and worker center that serves and organizes the Nepali-speaking immigrant and refugee community in NYC and beyond. Based in Woodside, Queens, Adhikaar organizes around workers’ rights, immigrant rights, health care access and language justice. www.adhikaar.org
About Carroll Gardens Association: Carroll Gardens Association (CGA) is an affordable housing, and economic development grassroots organization that has been working in Brooklyn since 1971. CGA organizes tenants and domestic workers across NYC for permanent affordable housing, cooperative economics, and domestic worker rights. www.cganyc.org
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