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An act relative to fair pay for comparable work

Bill No: S.47 | H.3150 | Read the Bill

Bill Sponsor: Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry and Rep. Kay Khan

Purpose of the Bill

This bill would set a schedule to fully eliminate the pay disparity between state workers and those employed by private, community-based human services nonprofits who are doing similar work. The bill would seek to eliminate the pay disparity no later than July 1, 2023, and it would authorize reports from the administration on the current pay disparity between workers and new strategies to recruit and retain human services workers at community-based nonprofits.

Key Facts:
  • Similar job titles and roles exist for individuals employed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and those employed at private, community-based human services nonprofits.
  • The Commonwealth is the largest purchaser of human services from community-based human services nonprofits.
  • Often, the model budgets created by the Commonwealth for human services programs have salaries that are far lower than what the state pays for similar positions.
  • Due to this salary disparity, it is becoming increasingly difficult for community-based organizations to recruit and retain qualified workers in the sector, which has more than 156,000 jobs.
  • Without a solution to the workforce crisis in the human services sector, an increasing number of jobs will go unfilled, leading to a deterioration in the quality of services delivered to Massachusetts’ most vulnerable residents.
If passed, this legislation would:
  • Set a schedule to fully eliminate the pay disparity between state workers and those employed by private, community-based human services nonprofits who are doing similar work.
  • Eliminate the pay disparity between state workers and those at community-based human services nonprofits no later than July 1, 2023.
  • Create a report from the Commonwealth to various committees in the Legislature that outlines the current disparity amount and the annual increases necessary to eliminate the disparity amount by July 1, 2023.
  • Create a report from the Commonwealth to various committees in the Legislature that makes recommendations about how to strengthen recruitment and retention of human services workers at private, community-based human services nonprofits.
  • Apply to workers employed by private, community-based human services nonprofits that have contracts with EOHHS, EOEA, DHCD and DEEC to provide services.

For more information: Email Bill Yelenak or call 617.428.3637 x122.