Below is some more of the information that was given to us by NY Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation when we attended the Legislative Forum in Albany. I hope you find it helpful.
#bFair2DirectCare Living Wage
Issue: Recruiting and sustaining a stable workforce continues to be the greatest challenge for providers of services to New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). 14.3% of all direct support professional jobs were vacant in 2018, staff turnover is 26.4% and more than 12 million overtime hours were logged in the same year. Low wages and fringe benefits and lack of a career ladder are part of the overall systemic problem discouraging people from employment in the field.
Recommendation: We are grateful for the State Legislature’s staunch support of the #bFair2DirectCare living wage campaign and respectfully request installments three and four of the six-year living wage proposal to begin April 1, 2019 and on January 1, 2020. The estimated cost of these two investments
Cost of Living Adjustment
Issue: The human services cost of living adjustment (COLA) has been consistently deferred and it’s enhanced the workforce recruitment and retention crisis. The costs associated with service delivery and operating an agency rises, naturally, with inflation. Insurance premiums, utility expenses, payroll, goods and services increases on an annual basis. The annual COLA helps agencies keep up with cost increases.
Recommendation: We respectfully request the State Legislature to include funds in the 2019-2020 State Budget to implement the COLA.
Minimum Wage Increase
Issue: The proposed 2019-2020 Executive Budget includes funds to support the next phase of the statuatory increase to the State’s minimum wage. The funds are critical to the survival of all provider agencies and we’re pleased the Governor has included $167 million for OPWDD to assist agencies with the minimum wage increase.
Recommendation: We ask the State Legislature to support the Executive Budget proposal to fund this year’s minimum wage increase.