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Caring Force demonstration garners press attention

The Caring Force launched a demonstration Monday at the Governor's office, generating press attentions from media outlets across the state.

Direct care workers and clients urged Governor Patrick to release the Salary Reserve. The Patrick-Murray administration has indefinitely delayed the $20 million fund, designed to give 2 percent salary increases to about 29,000 direct care workers. See The Caring Force's media release on the issue.

According to the State House News Service:

"Waiting in the hall for Patrick were about a dozen human service providers who came to ask Patrick to release funds from the $20 million salary reserve passed by the Legislature over the summer. Michael Weekes, president of the Providers' Council, said Patrick froze the account after October revenues plummeted as a budget management tool, and said low-wage community health providers feel it is unfair that they are being targeted. “It feels like they’re being singled out . . . ” Weekes said. “We’re not sure it’s actually going to come at all. Right now it’s delayed, but a delay can also be harmful.”

Patrick denied that he had frozen the account and said final decisions about potential budget cuts have not been made. “We haven’t frozen any salary reserve. We have all kinds of steps we’ve taken in anticipation of potential budget cuts because revenue has slowed down but we haven’t made any final decisions. I understand the sensitivity about those issues and the sensitivity of some of the folks who are here. And we appreciate that you are here, but those decisions aren’t made,” Patrick said.

Other media coverage included:

For more information or for assistance contacting your local paper about how the delay affects you or your direct care staff, contact Bill Yelenak.