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Legislature completes override of Gov.‘s Salary Reserve veto

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

BOSTON – The Senate voted unanimously on Thursday to override Governor Deval Patrick’s veto of the Human Services Salary Reserve. The House unanimously voted to override the veto on July 17.

“Thanks to Senate President Therese Murray, Senator Karen Spilka and the entire Senate for taking the final step in overriding Governor Patrick’s ill advised veto of a modest annualized raise for low-paid direct care workers,” said Providers’ Council President and CEO Michael Weekes. “These workers have gone without an increase for five years, and the efforts of both the House and Senate will help more of our working families make it in Massachusetts.”

The Legislature proposed a one to two percent annualized raise for human services workers making less than $40,000 in its FY ’13 budget, but 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, now restored, will give workers an annualized raise of about $635, estimated to be between 1 and 2 percent.

Votes in both the House and Senate to override the Salary Reserve were unanimous. The Legislature’s historic support of the Salary Reserve and human services is appreciated by the entire human services sector, particularly the 31,500 employees the fund will directly help, Weekes noted.

“The Legislature has once again shown broad, bipartisan support of the Salary Reserve, and we appreciate our legislators’ understanding of how important this modest salary increase is to the working women and men in the sector,” Weekes added. “We thank them for their efforts on behalf of caregivers who provide vital services to one in 10 Massachusetts residents.”

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.