The #bFair2DirectCare Coalition, including NYSARC, is conducting a series of inspiring events as part of a year-long workforce funding campaign.
The workforce shortage facing NYSARC Chapters is getting worse and in many communities is now in crisis proportions. According to a 2016 Vacancy and Turnover Survey by the coalition, competition from other employers has increased to the point where coalition agencies responding to the survey now have an average 10 percent vacancy rate and more than a 20 percent turnover rate for Direct Support Professionals.
The "300 Days to Better Pay" campaign is a statewide series of events to constantly repeat for legislators and the Governor that direct care not-for-profit agency workers need a fair rate of pay which is commensurate with their vital support responsibilities. The campaign's goal is to have the Governor and the Legislature approve appropriate budget funding for these dedicated professionals when the 2017-18 state budget is finalized April 1, 2017. And our strategy is simple: We will keep coming back until we prevail.
This past summer, the campaign held a kickoff event at the State Capitol in Albany on June 8 with several key legislators speaking in support of the campaign, In addition, former NYS Assemblymember and developmental disabilities advocate Harvey Weisenberg (pictured, at right) spoke passionionately on the vital role of DSPs and his personal view of how “government has a responsibility to take care of our people and our families.”
Roland La Scala, a DSP with Warren, Washington & Albany Counties Chapter of NYSARC addressed how he loves his job despite the challenging work environment. Kirk Lewis, Executive Director of Schenectady ARC, spoke on behalf of Chapter executives statewide when he shared the crisis his agency faces daily in filling dozens of job vacancies. Finally, people supported by Capital Region NYSARC Chapters shared how they appreciate all that DSPs like Roland do for them. To read more, please click here.
Throughout the summer, #bFair2DirectCare conducted similar news conferences at the following locations statewide to raise awareness about the campaign. Please click on the links below to learn more details:
These events are just a start. But don’t wait for us. NYSARC urges you to go ahead and hold your own event this fall. Schedule one in your community today. To view a #bFair2DirectCare Toolkit, please click here. The Toolkit includes message points for meeting with your local legislators, social media tips, letter to the editor templates, and a checklist and planning guide for organizing your own media event. No local newspaper is too small and every legislator is important.
29 British American Blvd.
Latham, NY 12110
Phone: (518) 439-8311
Fax: (518) 439-1893
P.O. Box 1531
Latham, New York 12110
Phone: (800) 735-8924
Fax: (518) 439-2670