Gov. Hochul expects strong lobbying in 2023 to improve the wages and health of New York women

Governor Katty Hochul has a complicated agenda to attend to, which includes nothing new requests related to health, child care, reproductive and maternal health, as well as equal pay and equity for all women and girls.

A coalition of women’s rights organizations and elected leaders recently spoke out, what should be the route of laws and the strong investments that must be approved in the next legislative session, to provide solutions to the female population. With an emphasis on women of color and immigrants, who suffer the most from labor imbalances and abuses.

“Young women, women of color, and women from across our state turned out to vote during the last general election. It is because of this mobilization that really we never saw a red wave”, highlighted the Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojaswhich represents parts of Queens.

Among the path of laws that the state president must attend to, there are drafts related to child care support, pay equity, pay increase for child and domestic caregivers, protection of abortion, prohibition of the minimum wage through tips, and a norm to avoid the criminalization of black girls in schools.

“I join the call for passage of this package, including two of my bills to end sub-minimum wages for workers who receive tips in restaurants, also establish the Reproductive Freedom and Equity Fund to ensure that all women can obtain abortion care in New York State. It is time to show our feminine power”, reinforced González-Rojas.

Likewise, a bill that rests in the committee of the State Assembly establishes the mandatory nature of a minimum wage for workers in the industry categorized as “miscellaneous”, occupied mostly by women, as is the case of the nail salons, hairdressers, beauticians, dog hairdressers, wedding organizersas well as other tasks performed more by men such as valets, tow truck drivers and porters.

For his part, Monifa Bandele, MomsRising’s director of strategy recalled that New York faces a child care crisis and only significant state investment will create a strong financial foundation and enable families, businesses and our economy to prosper.

“We hope that Governor Hochul will protect undocumented families, who strengthen our communities. Invest in better maternal and reproductive health care. Besides that she ends the disparities that put at risk so many black mothers and other mothers of color. Our state will only succeed if we all have access to quality reproductive health care.”

After 227 years, the state of New York elected its first female governor, which is why this coalition warned at a rally held this Wednesday in Lower Manhattan, that one could only speak of a “victory” if the president becomes a defender of a series of legal initiatives that in some cases lThey have been discussed and ignored for years.

“With women’s rights at stake across the country, we must be a bulwark against domestic extremism and that is achieved with anti-choice legislation by prioritizing the approval of comprehensive child care, protections against abortion and equal pay. At the next session, we hope to do everything we can to raise the voices of women and girls in the halls of Albany and across our state,” exclaimed the Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal.

The Puerto Rican home assistant, Margarita Pillot demands a fair payment for her sector: “They are abandoning these jobs!

Increase wages for domestic workers

Last October 1st a wage increase that adds $2 per hour to the income of home care workers came into force, but this “symbolic conquest” has been described as a “mockery” by a labor force, which through a law, He aspires to an adjustment of 150% of his salary in the coming months.

The Puerto Rican domestic caregiver, Margarita Pillot With 25 years in this sector, she joined the demands of New York women. In her case, she considers it a priority to promote an emergency review of her salary reality.

“That $2 increase is really insignificant, where everyone’s rent has been raised. The same governor in the future You will need the service that we offer”asserted the islander.

The home care workers, mostly immigrant women of color, have been leaving their jobs, due to the fact that even fast food chains They offer better pay.

“Our work is vital to New York families. It is not a small thing to have trustworthy people who are in charge of the care, the cleaning of our elderly, who do not want to be taken to a nursing home. We must reflect on the importance of our work”, Marguerite stressed.

That same demand has the Puerto Rican Vicenta Alvarezwho is 21 years old as ‘home attendat’, seeking better salaries.

“Our goal is that rises to 22.30 an hour. That leads us to win at least $700 a week which is still very little. Who lives in New York with that amount? she wondered.

The same request of the home workers, they have that of another sector occupied almost 100% by women, it is about the workers in nurseries and other child care centers. For this group, they are fighting for a short-term worker’s compensation fund, to increase their salaries in at least $12,500 per yearwhile building a long-term solution.

The home worker Vicenta Alvarez demands the approval of the bill that would force her salary to be increased by 150%. (Photo: F. Martinez)

for equal pay

The group of legislators and spokespersons for community organizations agree that as the economy rebuilds from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, attention should be paid to the lessons that have emerged about the importance of women’s work and the value of the care economy.

“We must ensure that all workers receive the compensation they need to support themselves and their families. I look forward to working with the advocates and my colleagues in the next session to achieve those goals,” she said. State Senator Shelley Mayer.

Also, the vision of Beverly Neufeld, presidenta de PowHer New Yorkis that another giant step must be taken: Stop discrimination through the enactment of the bill of law New York State Salary Rangewhich proposes that job applicants have salary information at the beginning of the hiring process, to avoid biases in wage setting and create equity for economic security.

“Already at this time, women in some companies are still paid less than men, due to a gender issue. we have to finish with this backward view of the world. We demand an equal payment”, stressed the home care worker Vicenta Alvarez.

Ban suspensions in schools

Among the group of legal bills that the governor will insistently be reminded of for her approval, a law called ‘Solutions not Suspensions’which would change the Department of Education’s disciplinary code to prevent children are punished with suspensions in schools for disciplinary problems.

A report from the New York Civil Liberties Union notes that children who are suspended are “more likely to drop out of high school, commit a crime and be imprisoned as adults.”

The report also states that children of color are twice as likely to be suspended.

The bill, also known as Judith Kaye School Solutions promotes proven methods that hold students accountable and help them learn from their mistakes, while keeping them in the classroom.

This legislative idea has been “frozen” in both legislative chambers for seven years.

In detail: What are the requests?

  • Approve and fully fund the universal child care
  • Make child care assistance available to working parents in variable and part-time hours
  • Approve child care eligibility for 24 months.
  • Establish a short-term workers’ compensation fund to increase wages for child care workers by at least $12,500/year while a long-term solution is built
  • Provide child care assistance to all immigrant families.
  • approve Fair Pay for Home Care to pay all female workers a 150% increase in the minimum wage
  • Pass the New York State Equal Rights Amendment
  • Fully fund the reproductive justice and maternal care through the Fund for Reproductive Equity and Freedom
  • Approve New York State wage range without amendments
  • Promote equal pay for contractors
  • End subminimum wage with tips
  • End the criminalization of black girls

The Data:

51.8% approximately is the female population of New York.

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