To commemorate National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week, September 11-17, the #bFair2DirectCare Coalition has called on Governor Cuomo and all state legislators to honor New York’s more than 100,000 direct support professionals and other direct care workers by providing the funding needed so these dedicated, trained professionals can earn a living wage.
#bFair2DirectCare Campaign Tool Kit
The objective of the #bFair2DirectCare campaign is to convince Governor Cuomo to include funding in the 2017-18 New York State Budget to increase salaries for Direct Support Professionals, Teachers’ Aides and other low-wage workers at not-for-profit organizations providing supports and services for people with disabilities. This must be done before the Governor and his staff start to put the budget together in early November. CP of NYS and other associations have engaged a group of media and political consultants to raise awareness and build support among legislators and the public to convince the Governor to include money in the budget to support “Direct Support Professionals Stabilization Funding.”
What to Do
The #bFair2DirectCare coalition has created a grassroots tool kit (attached). It includes message points, and sample letters to send to newspapers and legislators. We are asking CP of NYS Affiliates to use the tool kit materials to engage in grassroots activities between now and early November.
- We ask that you reach out to your local legislators and tell them about the crisis you are facing in regards to staff vacancies and turnover and the difficulty you face in recruiting, hiring and retaining staff because of the lack of funding and other issues. Tell them that the only way to reverse this trend is for NYS to provide more funding for your staff.
- Reach out to your local media. Tell them about the difficulty in hiring and retaining staff, your high vacancy and turnover rates and the need for the Governor and the legislature to address the issue in the NYS Budget.
- Encourage your staff and families of the people you support, to reach out to the media and their legislators and tell their story about how turnover, low staff morale and low pay affects them personally.
- Some Affiliates have worked with other organizations in their area to plan and conduct a news conference with supportive legislators to focus attention on the issues and generate local media attention. If you would like to do that in your area, contact us and we and the consultants can provide assistance in planning the event.
- If you have a DSP, Teachers’ Aide or other staff or family member who would be interested in serving as a spokesperson for the campaign media events in your area, please place them in contact with Al Shibley at ashibley@cpofnys or Barbara Crosier at bcrosier@cpofnys. They will receive training/coaching from the media consultants before any interview or editorial board meeting.
- Please encourage anyone and everyone you know to follow the #bFair2DirectCare campaign as well as CP of NYS on Facebook and Twitter.
The Federation of Multicultural Programs (FMCP) is facing, according to court papers, a $9.1 million deficit and numerous six-figure bills.
The weakness I see is the socially unjust salaries paid to caregivers working for nonprofit agencies.
The headline above could be about the crisis non-profit agencies providing supports and service for people with disabilities face in New York State. this story, however is about the same critical situation they face today in Illinois.
“People with disabilities have been called a sleeping giant or a sleeping tiger,” said Lisa Schur, chair of the Rutgers Labor Studies and Employment Relations Department.