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House overrides Gov. Patrick’s Salary Reserve veto

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

Unanimous vote is first step to restoring modest annualized salary increase

BOSTON – The House voted unanimously on Tuesday afternoon to override Governor Deval Patrick’s veto of the Human Services Salary Reserve. Governor Patrick vetoed the $20 million Salary Reserve on July 8.

“We thank Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo, Representative David Linsky and the entire House for overriding the Governor’s veto of this critical investment in our human services workforce,” said Providers’ Council President and CEO Michael Weekes. “These workers have gone without an annualized salary increase for five years, and the House’s efforts to restore this funding are appreciated by the tens of thousands of workers across the human services sector.”

While the Legislature proposed a one to two percent annualized raise for the 31,500 human services workers making less than $40,000 in its FY ’13 budget, Governor Patrick vetoed the measure, cutting the line item in half and switching the annualized raise to a one-time payment. The Legislature’s plan would give workers an annualized raise of $635, and the Governor’s veto meant workers would only receive a one-time payment of a little more than $300.

Representative Linsky, a longtime supporter of human services and the direct care workforce that makes an average of just $12 an hour, secured the support of 107 of his colleagues on a letter he sent to Speaker DeLeo, urging a vote to override the Governor’s veto of the Salary Reserve.

“We thank the House for its broad, bipartisan support of the Salary Reserve, and we appreciate their understanding of how important this modest salary increase is to the working women and men in the sector,” Weekes added. “We look to the Senate to also override the Governor’s veto in an effort to help more of our working families make it in Massachusetts.”

During its budget process, the Senate included a $20 million Salary Reserve in the state budget. The Council remained hopeful on Tuesday afternoon that the Senate would also take up the override vote on the Salary Reserve in the near future.

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.