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Advocate

Contact Your Representatives On These Issues

WHAT IS GOING ON?  

During the COVID-19 public health emergency, a hazard pay wage increase of $2.25 per hour was approved for direct care workers in recognition of their heroism and sacrifice in continuing to serve our most vulnerable residents during this unprecedented health emergency.   Governor Whitmer has included making the $2.25 increase permanent in her FY 22 budget but it still has to pass through the legislature.  We are advocating to make this wage increase permanent  to address the long-standing staffing crisis created by low wages and high turnover among direct care workers.

ABOUT THE ISSUE

There is a direct caregiver staffing crisis in Michigan’s public mental health system.

• People with developmental disabilities or mental illness rely on direct care workers for essential supports which enable them to access their community, work, and live full, meaningful lives. 
• Inadequate wages have created a critical direct care shortage. 
• Turnover rates average 37%. Some providers have been forced to discontinue services.
• Direct care starting wages, which are tied to Medicaid funding, are too low. Service providers cannot compete with other businesses that hire at the same level, often with fewer work demands.

ACTIONS NEEDED

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL your state representative and state senator.

ASK THEM to make permanent the $2,25 hour wage increase for direct care workers in the FY 22 budget.

EXPLAIN that a staff wage increase advances the objectives of improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and increasing their access to supports and services

SHARE your story: how the staffing crisis negatively affects you, as a person receiving services, family member, direct care worker or service provider.  Here is a survey from the University of Minnesota detailing the effects of the pandemic on an already dire crisis.

TIMING

The time to contact your legislators is now!

Find your state representative here: 
http://house.michigan.gov/mhrpublic/frmFindaRep.aspx

Find your state senator here: http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html

WHAT IS GOING ON?  

US Representatives Bobby Scott (D-VA), Susan Wild (D-PA) and Susie Lee (D-NV) have introduced the Direct Creation, Advancement, and Retention of Employment (CARE) Opportunity Act, legislation invests more than $1 billion over five years in training and increasing opportunities for our nation’s direct care workers.  The Direct CARE Opportunity Act aligns with a key piece of the American Jobs Plan, which calls for significant investments to meet the surging demand for home and community-based services.

To meet the need for a well-trained and empowered direct care workforce, the Direct CARE Opportunity Act:

  • Invests in strategies to recruit, retain and advance the direct care workforce pipeline;
  • Implements models and strategies to make the field of direct care more attractive, including training, career pathways, and mentoring, which will allow for local and regional innovation to address workforce shortages and needs;
  • Encourages retention and career advancement in the growing field of direct care;
  • Responds to the needs of a growing aging population and allows older Americans, people with disabilities, and others who require direct care services to remain in their communities, when possible,
  • Supports the health and wellbeing of those who need and rely on direct care services, helping to prevent costlier institutional care.

ABOUT THE ISSUE

There is a nationwide direct care worker shortage.

• People with developmental disabilities or mental illness rely on direct care workers for essential supports which enable them to access their community, work, and live full, meaningful lives. 
• Inadequate wages have created a critical direct care shortage. 
• Turnover rates average 37%. Some providers have been forced to discontinue services.
• Direct care starting wages, which are tied to Medicaid funding, are too low. Service providers cannot compete with other businesses that hire at the same level, often with fewer work demands.

ACTIONS NEEDED

PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL your US representatives and Senators.

ASK THEM to support the Direct Care Opportunity Act.

EXPLAIN that the bill will help create 3 million jobs for direct care workers in the country as well as work towards greater pay and advancement opportunities for this vital workforce.

SHARE your story: how the staffing crisis negatively affects you, as a person receiving services, family member, direct care worker or service provider.

TIMING

The time to contact your legislators is now!

Click here to find your US representative.

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