300 Days to Better Pay

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As the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, I write as a supporter of the #bFair2DirectCare Coalition’s “300 Days to Better Pay” Campaign.

When I first learned my son had cerebral palsy and would need help with living every day of his life, I had no idea how I would be able to sustain him during my life and after I am gone. Over the 35 years since he was born, I have been grateful to find support for my whole family right in the community. Day programs, transportation, job coaching, residential support, medical support and recreation, all right here, staffed by dedicated and caring direct support professionals who treat my son like they are a part of their family.

Direct support professionals (DSP) working for nonprofit organizations help me around the clock and are a part of the fabric that holds our communities together. They help my child achieve his/her best and be a part of the community. Increasingly, however, we are losing these vital workers to less demanding jobs, like fast food restaurants and big box stores, that suddenly pay as much as, if not more, than these vital jobs. Flat state government funding and new wage and benefit mandates created this growing worker shortage. We are now facing a crisis that will get worse unless New York State backs up its mandates by funding a living wage for DSP worker salaries.

Please support fair pay for direct support professionals and other vital staff that help support tens of thousands of New Yorkers by calling and writing your state legislators and Governor Cuomo. Tell New York State to provide fair pay for the DSPs working in every community across the state. Tell them you want them to #bFair2DirectCare and help us keep our communities vibrant and inclusive of all.

Please follow and like us on Facebook (@BFair2DirectCare) and Twitter (#bFair2DirectCare). Thank you for your support for my family and for families across New York.

—Bob Masterson

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