“Yesterday, the same Governor Cuomo proposed a budget that includes zero dollars to fulfill the six-year plan to provide a living wage for these same Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) he once fought so far hard for. One hundred thousand DSPs are wondering what happened to the Governor Cuomo of March 28, 2017, who held up his right hand, swore his support and became a champion for direct care workers and the New Yorkers with developmental disabilities they support.
“#bFair2DirectCare could not have been clearer in what’s needed in this year’s budget to help direct care workers achieve a living wage – the very kind of economic justice Governor Cuomo has championed for other working New Yorkers. More than 200 people rallied in the War Room last week for #bFair2DirectCare funding in the Governor’s budget, making it unmistakably clear through their presence and chants that thundered through the Capitol. The funds our workers seek amount to a rounding error in the Governor’s $175 billion budget proposal.
“While we appreciate the funding included in the Governor’s budget necessary to bring DSPs up to the new minimum wage requirements he championed, this does nothing to adjust their compensation to the living wage their talents and dedication justify. DSPs still must work multiple jobs just to make ends meet.
“Governor, take the opportunity in your 30-day amendments, correct this omission and add the #bFair2DirectCare living wage funding DSPs deserve to your budget proposal. Then you once again can be a champion to direct care workers and the New Yorkers with disabilities they support.
“The DSP workforce is 73 percent female and 52 percent black and Latino. No Justice Agenda for New York State can be complete without economic justice for DSPs.”
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#bFair2DirectCare gives voice to the more than 130,000 New Yorkers with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and others who often cannot speak for themselves. #bFair2DirectCare is also the call to action to remind state leaders that direct care non-profit agency workers are agents of the state who need a living wage that is commensurate with their vital support responsibilities.
#bFair2DirectCare members 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)
Direct Support Professional Alliance of New York State (DSPANYS)
The InterAgency Council of Developmental Disabilities Agencies (IAC)
The New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation
New York Association of Emerging & Multicultural Providers
The Arc New York
National Association of Direct Support Professionals (NADSP)
Self-Advocacy Association of New York State (SANYS)
Statewide Advocacy Network of New York State (SWAN)