WXXI AM News

Heritage Christian Services raises wages for front-line workers

Apr 29, 2021

A Rochester organization that provides programs and services for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities is raising its base wage for front-line workers.

Heritage Christian Services is raising the pay scale for those employees to $15 an hour for all positions, effective May 9. Heritage officials said that their residential staff, which is the majority of jobs at the organization, will now start at $15.75, with more money for certain shifts.

Heritage Christian said that is a 20% increase for all frontline positions since the start of the year.

Heritage Christian said it is making this change now to stabilize its workforce and take a step forward in trying to neutralize poverty.

“We can no longer overlook what it takes to make a sustainable living,” said Marisa Geitner, president and C.E.O. of Heritage Christian Services. “The care professionals in our community deserve more than minimum. We need to recognize the technical skills that care professionals apply to their daily work related to health support, communication, digital literacy and more.”

Geitner called the move “a social justice commitment,” with Heritage noting that in New York state, people who work in the caring professional are predominantly women, people of color and immigrants. Heritage officials said that those are workers who are affected by structural racism and gender inequality.

This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk.