Victory for Direct Support Professionals
The Governor heard your voices about the need for a living wage. On Tuesday March 28, Governor Cuomo said, “This hand will not sign a budget unless there is $55m in it for DSPs.”
This remark was made in front of over 500 family members, DSPs, self-advocates and legislators at the #bFair2DirectCare rally on the steps of the capital. The NYS budget is due to be passed on March 31st and will have funding for the wage increases you have asked to be included. We still need to get more information about how this increase will be implemented.
At this time, we hear that an increase (3.25%) will be provided to our organizations on January 1, 2018 for Direct Support Professional staff who work in OPWDD funded programs.
And, another increase is also projected for Direct Support Professional staff and clinicians who work in OPWDD funded programs on April 1, 2018. This second increase is subject to additional legislation since it occurs in the next state budget year. We will have more information about these increases later in the year as we receive direction from OPWDD. We are very proud of your advocacy. The high level of visible advocacy with the legislature and Governor brought us to this victory. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this advocacy initiative. Our voices have been heard.
Richard P. Swierat