Make 3 Calls for COLA Today and Tomorrow

April 12, 2023

On Monday lawmakers returned to Albany where they passed another budget extender through next Monday (April 17), and then the majority went back home to their districts. As such, there is an opportunity this week for us to contact both the district offices and the Albany offices of the 3 leaders with a clear message regarding our need for an 8.5% COLA.

Please contact the district offices today, and then tomorrow, make 3 calls to the Albany offices of our state leaders.

Call 1: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie: (718) 654-6539 and (518) 455-3791

Call 2: Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins: (914) 423-4031 and (518) 455-2585

Call 3: Governor Hochul: 1-518-474-8390


Hi, I’m calling (Speaker Heastie / Leader Stewart-Cousins / Governor Hochul) to ensure the leaders include an 8.5% COLA for human service workers beginning with community-based mental health and substance use disorder agencies, in the final enacted budget.

  • Currently there are long waiting lists for care throughout the public mental hygiene system due in large part to our inability to hire and retain staff.
  •  As the Opioid Epidemic continues to destroy families and communities, and suicide rates among certain populations continue to rise, we need community agencies to be running at full speed.  Unfortunately, our workforce crisis has resulted in a reduction in access to these services at precisely the moment when they are needed most.
  • Timely access to care saves money for the state in that it allows individuals and families to address their mental health and substance use disorder needs before they require more acute care.
  • New York State needs to step up to ensure human service workers including mental health and substance use disorder agencies can pay their staff an adequate wage, remain competitive with other businesses, and pay for all of the expenses associated with operating these programs and services.
  • The work is too hard for our staff to stay with us if the salaries aren’t competitive.  We need an 8.5% COLA.
  • Thank you for relaying this important message to the Speaker/Leader/Governor.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions. I’m at (518) 461-8200.
Thank you for your advocacy!