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House budget proposal released without a Salary Reserve

The House Ways & Means Committee released its FY '13 budget proposal on April 11, and the spending plan did not include a Salary Reserve for low-paid human service providers. The Council had made a Salary Reserve for the 31,000 low-paid human services workers one of its two main budget priorities for FY '13.

But Representative David Linsky has proposed an amendment to the budget that would include a $28 million Salary Reserve for workers making $40,000 and under. Rep. Linsky was instrumental in our sector receiving a Salary Reserve in a supplemental budget in 2011, and we are pleased to have him stand with the 31,000+ direct care workers in our sector who do incredibly complex jobs for very low pay.  Your advocacy made a difference last year and it can make a difference again! The text of the amendment is below for your reference.

Now we need your help. Email your representative using our online advocacy tool and ask him or her to support Representative Linsky's amendment. The Providers' Council has sent a letter to all representatives, asking them for their support, but we need all of our members to use their collective voices, contact their legislators and ask for their support. This campaign will only be successful with our joint efforts.

We only have until Friday, April 13 at 11 a.m. to encourage our legislators to sign onto this critical amendment! Please use our online advocacy tool now to send a letter and let your legislators know how important providing quality, consistent care is to the one in ten Massachusetts residents who receive essential services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Bill Yelenak.

The full text of Representative David Linsky's Salary Reserve amendment:

1599-6901.. For a reserve to adjust the wages, compensation or salary and associated employee-related costs to personnel earning less than $40,000 in annual compensation who are employed by private human service providers that deliver human and social services under contracts with departments within the executive office of health and human services and the executive office of elder affairs; provided, that home care workers shall be eligible for funding from this appropriation; provided further, that workers from shelters and programs that serve homeless individuals and families that were previously contracted through the Department of Transitional Assistance and the Department of Public Health currently contracted with DHCD and direct care workers that serve homeless veterans through the Dept. of Veterans Affairs shall be eligible for funding from this appropriation; provided further, that the secretary of administration and finance may allocate the funds appropriated in this item to the departments in order to implement this initiative; provided further, that the executive office of health and human services shall condition the expenditure of appropriation upon assurances that the funds shall be used solely for the purposes of equal percentage adjustments to wages, compensation or salary; provided further, that not later than January 15, 2013, the executive office of health and human services shall submit to the house and senate committees on ways and means a report delineating the number of employees, by job title and average salary, receiving the adjustment in fiscal year 2013 and the average percentage adjustment funded herein; provided further, that the report shall also include, for each contract scheduled to receive any allocation from this item in each such department, the total payroll expenditures in each contract for the categories of personnel scheduled to receive the adjustments; provided further, that no funds from this item shall be allocated to special education programs under chapter 71B of the General Laws, contracts for early education and care services or programs for which payment rates are negotiated and paid as class rates as established by the division of health care finance and policy; provided further, that no funds shall be allocated from this item to contracts funded exclusively by federal grants as delineated in section 2D; provided further, that the total fiscal year 2013 costs of salary adjustments and any other associated employee costs authorized there under shall not exceed $28,000,000; provided further, that the executive office health and human services shall submit an allocation schedule to the house and senate committees on ways and means not less than 30 days after disbursement of funds; and provided further, that the annualized cost of the adjustments in fiscal year 2014 shall not exceed the amount appropriated herein………… $28,000,000