Thanks to Legislators, Candidates for Support

 #bFair2DirectCare Thanks Legislators, Candidates for Their Support

  These Local Legislators & Legislative Candidates Recognize the Important Work of Direct Support Professionals and Support Providing Them with a Living Wage, as They Serve the Tens of Thousands of NYers with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities and Their Families

 “300 Days to Better Pay” Campaign Continues; We Care, We Vote

The #bFair2DirectCare Coalition offers its thanks and heartfelt appreciation to 20 state legislators and candidates for State Senate and State Assembly from the Capital Region and Hudson Valley for their support in ensuring direct service professionals receive a living wage for the outstanding work they do in caring for and supporting New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

In the Capital Region and Hudson Valley, the #bFair2DirectCare Coalition recognized:

Senator George Latimer – Incumbent – 37th S.D.    *   Julie Killian – Candidate – 37th S.D.    *   Senator David Carlucci – Incumbent – 38th S.D.    *    Senator Bill Larkin – Incumbent – 39th S.D.    *    Senator Sue Serino – Incumbent – 41st S.D.    *    Senator Kathy Marchione – Incumbent – 43rd S.D.    *    Shaun Francis – Candidate – 43rd S.D.    *    Senator Neil Breslin – Incumbent – 44th S.D.    *    Senator George Amedore – Incumbent – 46th S.D.    *    Sara Niccoli – Candidate – 46th S.D.    *    Assemblyman Jim Tedisco – Candidate – 49th S.D.    *    Assemblywoman Sandra Galef – Incumbent 95th A.D.    *    Assemblyman Karl Brabenec – Incumbent – 98th A.D.    *    Colin Schmitt – Candidate – 99th A.D.    *    Terry Sullivan – Candidate – 106th A.D.    *    Assemblyman John McDonald III – Incumbent – 108th A.D.    *    Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara – Incumbent – 111th A.D.    *    Peter Vroman – Candidate – 111th A.D.    *    Assembly-woman Carrie Woerner – Incumbent – 113th A.D.    *    Christopher Boyark – Candidate – 113th A.D.

These legislators and candidates are among more than 80 from across the state who have to date responded to a candidate survey sent by the Coalition. By doing so, these legislators and candidates demonstrated a commitment to the “300 Days to Better Pay” campaign, which is aimed at ensuring that direct care workers receive an increase in salary to allow them to earn a living wage to provide for themselves and their families.

Richard Bosch, Interim Executive Director of the InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies, said: “These legislators and candidates are true champions. They understand the amazing care and support provided by dedicated, trained, conscientious direct service providers for the tens of thousands of New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.  We cannot thank these legislators and candidates enough.  We need champions like them in Albany fighting for our workers and for the people we serve and support.”

In his response to the survey, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan said, “It is imperative that the Executive include funding for these wages in the budget so these agencies can attract and maintain the best possible workforce.”

In his response to the survey, Assemblyman Santabarbara said, “As a father of a child with autism and as a state legislator, I’m working each and every day to create more opportunities for all those living with developmental disabilities including calling for fair wages for the people that provide the care that is changing lives. Direct support professionals are a vital part of our society, and we must keep fighting to provide our nonprofit direct care providers with the fair pay that keeps them providing the services our families rely on every day.”

In his response to the survey, Senator Carlucci said, “It is vitally important that we support direct service professionals as they provide care for a vulnerable population. They should receive fair wages that reflect the important work they perform.”

Steven Kroll, Executive Director of NYSARC, said: “From now until Election Day, the #bFair2DirectCare coalition will be conducting statewide voter participation education directed at people with disabilities, their families and our employees as part of the ‘300 Days to Better Pay’ campaign.  Our goal is to ensure that voters know who supports these valued members of our community.”

As part of the “300 Days to Better Pay” campaign, the #bFair2DirectCare coalition is bringing attention to the potential crisis in community care for New Yorkers with autism, serious brain injury, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

“The Governor and the State Legislature need to take action in the next state budget.  A modest rate increase for the next five years will let us pay a competitive living wage so we can retain good workers. The alternative is more vital jobs remaining vacant as more worker leave, putting at risk the services we provide to these special and valued New Yorkers,” Kroll said.

A 2016 report on DSP staffing performed by the #bFair2DirectCare coalition found member agencies statewide had a 9.3 percent vacancy rate and 23.1 percent one-year turnover rate.  DSPs at not-for-profit provider agencies are 73 percent women, 42 percent African-American and nine percent Latino.  To provide them with a living wage ($17.72 in NYC/LI and $15.54 across the rest of New York) would require a 2.3 percent rate increase in each of the next six years.

Members of the #bFair2DirectCare coalition include:  Alliance of Long Island Agencies (ALIA); Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State (CP of NYS); The Developmental Disability Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY); The InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC); The NYS Association of Community Residential Agencies (NYSACRA); NYSARC Inc.;  New York State Rehabilitation Association (NYSRA); Self Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)

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