Syracuse News Conference Highlights Need to Increase Pay for Direct Support Workers

accesscny-logoarc-of-onondaga-logoIn support of increased pay for direct support professionals who work with people with disabilities in our community, Arc of Onondaga and AccessCNY will hold a news conference on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 11:00 a.m.  The #bFair2DirectCare campaign is a workforce funding effort striving to provide a living wage for those who support individuals with disabilities. Staff members, direct support professionals, advocates, parents, self-advocates and supporters of individuals with disabilities will be in attendance. Event details are as follows:

Event Date/Time:

Thursday, October 13, 2016 – 11:00 a.m.

Event Location:

Memorial Hall
Onondaga County War Memorial
800 South State Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Arc of Onondaga and AccessCNY are spotlighting the important work of those who work directly with more than 4,000 individuals with disabilities who depend on the agencies. The #bFair2DirectCare campaign strives to inform the public on the important work done by these staff, often with sub-par compensation.

The agencies will be joined at the event by State Senators Dave Valesky and John DeFrancisco, along with Assemblyman Al Stirpe. Other Central New York elected officials are expected to attend.

Across the state, over 125,000 people with developmental disabilities, who often cannot speak for themselves, depend on the care of direct support professionals to live, work and learn as part of their communities. These non-profit professionals perform difficult and intimate work with some of our state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Non-profit providers rely on government support for 90% of the funding for these services, 80% of which goes directly to staff wages. Staff members are entrusted by the state and deserve a fair rate of pay for the vital care they provide. This is a call to action to remind state leaders that direct care not-for-profit agency workers are agents of the state who need a fair rate of pay that reflects the complexity of their work.

After eight years without a significant adjustment in wages and recent increases in the minimum wage, it’s time for New York State to step up to support those with disabilities.  To not increase wages threatens the progress that has been made over the last four decades for people with disabilities. It’s time that a fair day’s work equals a fair day’s pay.

Agencies that have been invited to attend include:

Liberty Resources ARISE
Spaulding Support Services L’Arche of Syracuse
Home, Inc. Community Options
Advocates Exceptional Family Resources
Unity House LDA
Catholic Charities Onondaga Community Living
Kelberman Center Elmcrest
Arc of Madison-Cortland Franziska Racker Centers


Joanna Jewett, Arc of Onondaga                                 315-476-7441, ext. 1103,
Matt Seubert, AccessCNY                                              315-410-3383,

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