**Updated May 11, 2022
The City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), in partnership with the Seattle Human Services Coalition (SHSC) is seeking applications from individuals, teams, and organizations interested in conducting a comparable worth wage analysis of the City of Seattle and King County human services sector.
Governments at all levels rely on the skills and expertise of nonprofit organizations to support well-being in communities so that individuals can reach their potential at every stage of life. Recruiting and retaining effective, experienced human services workers is essential for meeting the goals shared by funders and human service providers. These goals include supporting people to build well-being in communities across Martin Luther King County. Significant pay gaps create hurdles for recruitment and retention of human services workers.
Human service providers and elected officials agree that human services workers are significantly underpaid for the difficult work they do, which puts the whole sector in a precarious position. The people who take care of our children, provide healthcare in community-based clinics, help people without homes connect with resources, engage our elders, support our youth, and care for people with disabilities are often paid at such low levels that they qualify for public support programs themselves. A 2017 report on nonprofits in New York State revealed that pay was so low that 60 percent of those working in the sector were utilizing or had a family member utilizing some form of public assistance benefit such as Medicaid or food stamps. Their pay does not reflect the education required, difficulty, or value of their work to build economic, emotional, physical, developmental, and social well-being for all community members.
Substantial literature on job gendering in economics and sociology indicate that one of the reasons such work may be undervalued is the extent to which care work and the field of human services is associated with feminized labor. Because this work has historically been accomplished by women and people of color, gender and racial discrimination may have had an ongoing impact on human services sector pay.
One policy strategy to address this issue is basing salaries on a comparable worth analysis. This type of analysis looks at wages and benefits paid in jobs and industries that require equivalent levels of skill, education, responsibility, and difficulty as those found in the nonprofit sector. This can provide an opportunity to correct low wages found in the nonprofit sector by providing an alternative to continuing to align wages with a market rate that has been historically suppressed by gendered and race-based discrimination.
Approximately $496,000 in HSD General Fund is available through this RFQ from City Council add CBA HSD-002-B-001. HSD intends to fund one proposal. The award will be made for the period of August 1, 2022–September 30, 2023
July 15, 2022–June 30, 2023. The final report will be due no later than January 31, 2023 October 31, 2022.
All materials and updates to the RFQ are available on HSD’s Funding Opportunities web page: http://www.seattle.gov/humanservices/funding-and-reports/funding-opportunities. Completed applications are due by 12:00 Noon PDT, on May 31
May 24, 2022.
Please contact the Funding Process Coordinator Ann-Margaret Webb via email with any questions about this RFQ at firstname.lastname@example.org.