Guest Editorial by Community Services for Every1
Community Services for Every1 thanks all in attendance at Wednesday’s rally for an 11% cost of living adjustment (COLA) in Albany.
Without adequate state funding, intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) provider agencies have been unable to offer competitive wages needed to recruit and retain the skilled direct support staff that provide critical supports and services, resulting in a workforce crisis that has grown for over a decade and harms over 130,000 New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
With the inclusion of an 11% COLA in the enacted state budget, providers will have the necessary resources to provide investment into wages and cover the increasing cost drivers of agency operations, including the mandated fringe benefits, repairs and maintenance, utilities, food, supplies, transportation, insurance and other increases.
Community Services urges lawmakers to say YES to 11%.
We especially want to thank State Sen. Sean Ryan, Assembly member Monica Wallace, Assembly member Jon Rivera, Assembly member Bill Conrad, Assembly member Karon McMahon, and every lawmaker who showed up yesterday not just for Western New York, but people with disabilities and direct support professionals across the state. We could not make progress and change without your continued support.
Mindy Cervoni, Community Services for Every1 President and CEO, said, “This 11% COLA is imperative to address our industry’s workforce crisis. Direct support professionals are the lifeline of our industry, providing life-preserving care, teaching essential skills to allow independent living, and supporting people with everything from medication and transportation to doing job training. These are not minimum wage jobs and should not be treated as such. Thank you to the many lawmakers, advocates and direct support professionals who attended our rally and supporting people with developmental disabilities.”
Our mission at Community Services is to partner with individuals of all abilities to reach their fullest potential, protecting their rights and promoting their independence and inclusion in our community.
Images courtesy of Community Services for Every1.