Roughly 50 people from our area loaded into vans this morning and carpooled to Albany to speak out on behalf of direct care workers.
ACHIEVE organized a trip to the capital that included staff, developmentally disabled clients and their family.
They joined hundreds of others from across the state for a rally dubbed Be Fair to Direct Care.
The advocates want Governor Cuomo to approve additional funding already agreed to by the State Senate and Assembly that would increase the daily rate organizations like ACHIEVE receive for providing care and services to the developmentally disabled.
This, in turn, would allow ACHIEVE and others to increase the wages they pay to Direct Support Professionals who provide the daily care for the clients.
CEO Amy Howard says ACHIEVE currently struggles to compete with the wages paid by other industries.
She says her organization is on the brink of a workforce crisis. “We have a number of vacancies across our organization that are really at critical levels and really impact our ability to grow as an organization and to increase the amount of supports that we offer.”
Howard calls Direct Support Professionals the backbone of ACHIEVE’s operation, assisting with community integration plans, medication management and other daily supports.
She says the number of job openings is forcing existing staff to work overtime.