100+ Orgs Sign Letter Calling for Salary Parity for NYC Early Childhood Educators
Honorable Mayor Bill de Blasio
New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor de Blasio:
We write to you as advocates for early childhood education and as leaders of programs working under contract with the Administration for Children’s Services. We were heartened to see that the New York City Early Care and Education Task Force that former Deputy Mayor Lilliam Barrios-Paoli convened called for a plan to address compensation across all early childhood settings receiving public funding. We were also encouraged and thank you for your support of the non-profit workforce through important reforms such as the Cost of Living Adjustment, the wage floor, and the signing and retention bonuses for Pre-K teachers in community settings.
However, as a community of providers and advocates, we continue to be deeply concerned about the lack of progress made in addressing compensation for the educators and support staff in EarlyLearn programs. Disparities between similarly qualified teachers and support staff in EarlyLearn and Pre-Kindergarten programs have grown, and left unchecked will continue to exacerbate the inequities and hardships faced by thousands of low-paid early childhood education employees – as evidenced by the steady flow of certified teachers out of EarlyLearn NYC programs.
We urge you to take immediate action to achieve salary parity for the early childhood workforce. As you know, the early childhood educators in community based programs are paid significantly less than their counterparts in the Department of Education. In addition, equally credentialed educators teaching children younger than four years old earn even less than their colleagues in classrooms for four-year-olds. The impact of the salary differentials on staff is staggering, and affects the ability of providers to maintain quality staff and programs for the children and families we serve, who deserve no less than our best.
The inequalities in compensation often mean the difference between living in poverty or not, and many staff in EarlyLearn programs depend on food stamps, Medicaid and other government programs to fill the gaps caused by inadequate wages. Assistant teachers and other support staff currently work for significantly lower wages than the $15 per hour guidelines established for the fast food industry. We ask that your Administration immediately move forward to ensure adequate and fair compensation comprehensively throughout the early childhood education system, including for those staff serving children younger than four years old.
Your administration made meaningful progress settling the vast majority of the expired labor contracts you inherited on taking office. However, unionized staff in EarlyLearn programs are currently working without a contract and have not had a contract with a pay increase since 2006. We believe that a simple step to address this issue would be to direct the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Labor Relations (OLR) to immediately proceed with negotiations and to work with both management and labor to adequately fund a contract for EarlyLearn staff.
Community based providers currently operate the majority of the city’s programs and want to continue to be part of the city’s vision to establish high-quality early childhood education. We stand committed to providing quality programs to ensure that our children have the necessary foundation to become thriving adults. However, salary parity for the early childhood workforce stands in the way of our ability to deliver the services that are critical for New York City’s children and families.
We thank you in advance for your attention to this issue and look forward to hearing from you.
Anthony Shorris, First Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, Deputy Mayor Gladys Carrion, Commissioner, Administration for Children’s Services Lorelei Vargas, Deputy Commissioner, Early Care & Education Dean Fuleihan, Director, Office of Management & Budget Robert Linn, Commissioner, Office of Labor Relations
1332 Fulton Avenue Day Care Center Advocates for Children Alpha Kappa Alpha Day Care Center Arab-American Family Support Center Atled, Inc. Bank Street Head Start/Bank Street College of Education BDC Early Childhood Services Bellevue Day Care Center Bethel Mission Station Church, Inc. Billy Martin Child Development Center Blanch Community Progress Blondell Joyner Early Learn Center Broadway Housing Communities Bronxdale Tenants League BronxWorks Brooklyn Kindergarten Society The Campaign for Children Catholic Charities Brooklyn and Queens Center for Children’s Initiatives Children’s Aid Society Children’s Defense Fund Chinese-American Planning Council Clifford Glover Day Care Center Citizens Care Day Care Center Citizens’ Committee for Children Claremont Neighborhood Centers Coalition of Asian-American Children and Families Colony South Brooklyn Houses Cypress Hills Child Care Center Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation Day Care Council of New York East Calvary Day Care East Harlem Block Nursery East Side House Settlement Escuela Hispana Early Learn Center Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies Flatbush Development Corp Friends of Crown Heights Education Centers Goddard Riverside Community Center Graham Child Care Center Grand Street Settlement Greater Ridgewood Youth Council Hamilton – Madison House Harlem RBI Hartley House Henry Street Settlement Highbridge Advisory Council Family Services Hudson Guild Human Services Council I Have a Dream Foundation of New York Metro Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement House Labor Bathgate Community Child Care La Peninsula Community Organization Labor and Industry for Education (LIFE) Lincoln Square Neighborhood Center Lucille Rose Day Care Center Mabel Barrett Fitzgerald Daycare Magical Years Early Childhood Center Marc Academy and Family Center Martin Luther King Jr. Day Care Center Neighborhood Family Services Council New Life Child Development Center Nicholas Cardell Day Care Center North Bronx NCNW Child Development Center Northeast Bronx Day Care Center Northern Manhattan Improvement Nuestros Ninos Child Development School Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Nu Omicron Chapter Early Childhood Education Ctr. Open Door Child Care Center Police Athletic League Prince Hall Day Care Promesa Head Start Rena Child Care Center Rockaway Artists Alliance Rockaway Child Care Center SCAN-New York SCO Family of Services Seaman’s Society for Children’s Services Sharon Baptist Head Start Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services Shirley Chisholm Day Care Center Southeast Bronx Neighborhood Centers St. John’s Place Family Center Day Care Corporation St. Nick’s Alliance Strong Place Day Care Center Sunnyside Community Services Sunset Bay Community Services The Child Center of NY Tolentine Zeiser Early Learn Program Tremont Crotona Day Care Center Tremont Monterey Day Care Center Union Settlement Association United Federation of Black Community Organizations United Activities Unlimited United Community Day Care Center United Neighborhood Houses UJA-Federation of New York University Settlement Society of New York Urban Strategies Utopia Children’s Center Washington Heights Child Care Center Westchester Tremont Day Care Center Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation Williamsbridge NAACP Early Childhood Education Center Yeshiva Tifereth Moshe Day Care Center YMCA of Greater New York YWCA of the City of New York Zion Day Care Center
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