Last month, Urban Pathways Case Manager Ambroisine Agbelor and Chief Executive Officer Fred Shack participated in a panel discussion entitled, Level the Playing Field: How Do We Get to Wage Equity?

The panel focused on the issue of wage equity in the human services sector as a result of underpayment from government. Fred said,

“There is a disconnect between the work that we do and the compensation that is available to our employees. We have to get better at…saying no to contracts that don’t work, that don’t pay. We have to get better at organizing with our employees around this issue and putting pressure on elected officials…”

Ambroisine shared the challenge of working in a field that is often undervalued, despite its difficulty, and how everyone must come together to make their voices heard.

“The whole idea that we enter the profession not for the money, but for the people ⁠— yes it’s noble, yes we are humanitarians in our heart, and we love people. But at the same time, perpetuating that dialogue is actually working against the mission towards increasing wage… We have got together to…make our voice heard and our message heard that our work is essential, our work is valuable.”

This panel was part of the Supportive Housing Network of New York’s Friday Forum Series and hosted by Tierra Labrada of the Network. It also features Na’ilah Amaru of the Human Services Council and Beverly Neufeld from PowHer.

Watch the full discussion here.