The Rehab Center, along with other NYS-ARC agencies throughout the state, is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to increase DSPs salary to a living wage.
As compassionately as the Agency cares for the people we support, we are equally passionate about supporting our Direct Support Professionals who are the hands that care for the people, and the hearts and minds who listen to them. Support means helping them earn a living wage to make it possible for them to continue to care for the people we care about.
Despite the accolades they deserve, they also have to pay their rent, feed and clothe their children and somehow live on wages comparable to those of fast food workers.
In almost every single case, when you ask them what it is they like best about their jobs, they say, “It’s the folks.”
For their dedication, commitment and hard work, they deserve a living wage. DSPs and seven major advocacy associations in New York State have spent the last year advocating for Governor Cuomo to include $45 million in his current budget to take the initial step to improving wages. To date, he has not responded.
In a video produced to promote the BFair2DirectCare campaign, NYS ARC spoke to Mari Howard, Russ Hahn, Missy Garcia Bautista, Keith Pierce, and Brian Quinn. The video is on the Agency’s Facebook.
This week Olean Times Herald Reporter, Kate Day Sager wrote a comprehensive and well researched two-part feature series highlighting the hard work DSPs face daily, their commitment to the people they support and the personal challenges of living on minimum wage.
The following are reprints of the series. The Agency asks for your support in our initiative.