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Administration plans Human Services Salary Reserve release

Contact: Bill Yelenak
Email: byelenak@providers.org
Phone: 617-428-3637 x122 (office) | 860-919-0369 (cell)

BOSTON – Executive Office of Administration & Finance Secretary Jay Gonzalez announced Tuesday afternoon that the administration would release the Salary Reserve, providing low-paid human services workers with their first annualized salary increase in five years.

The Salary Reserve, originally scheduled to be paid to direct care workers before the holiday season, was delayed last month by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, leaving workers questioning whether the fund would be subject to a ‘9C’ cut – or even paid at all. Members of The Caring Force held daily visibilities in Governor Patrick’s office, protesting the delay, and during a press conference today, Secretary Gonzalez announced the Salary Reserve would not be subject to a cut and “is available to disburse to human service workers.”

“We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to the 29,000 direct care workers who do incredibly demanding work for small salaries, and we thank the Legislature for their leadership and support in helping to secure this critical funding,” Providers’ Council President & CEO Michael Weekes said Tuesday upon learning the news. “Our state leaders understand the sacrifices made by these workers, and we’re incredibly grateful that workers’ efforts will be recognized with this modest salary adjustment.”

The $20 million Salary Reserve will be given to about 29,000 human services workers who make under $40,000 per year. It is an increase of about $13 per week or 33 cents per hour for the low-paid employees. The salary adjustment will help employees keep up with rising costs, such as food, shelter, clothing and health insurance, as well as provide for their families and loved ones during the holidays.

“The release of the Salary Reserve before the holidays is incredibly important to the workers who were promised this modest increase,” Weekes said. “We thank the Governor and his administration for finding a way to ensure these funds, approved earlier this year, are in the pockets of workers before the holiday season.”

The Providers' Council, also known as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers, Inc., is the largest statewide membership association for community-based organizations providing social, rehabilitation, education and health care services.