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State managers receive raises; human services next?

Contact: Bill Yelenak
Phone: 617-428-3637 x122 (office) | 860-919-0369 (cell)

State managers receive raises; human services next?

Council hopes to have conversation with the administration regarding raises for lowest-paid

BOSTON - Governor Deval Patrick announced 3 percent raises Thursday for nearly 4,000 executive branch managers, leaving the human services community expecting that with the state's improved economic outlook, the administration will next consider giving a basic cost-of-living adjustment to the 31,500 direct care workers who have not received an annualized salary increase since FY '08.

"We are pleased the state economy is turning around, and the Governor is considering raises for people who have shared in the sacrifice these last few years," said Michael Weekes, president and CEO of the Providers' Council. "Surely among those individuals must be the 31,500 low-paid human services direct care workers who have gone years without a salary increase."

Many human services direct care workers earn about $12/hour, with nearly 31,500 low-paid employees earning less than $40,000 annually. The Council had been seeking a raise of less than $18/week for these workers, but the appropriation was not included in the House 1 budget released earlier this year. With an improved fiscal condition, however, the Council and other human services organizations remain hopeful that the administration will reach out soon to offer raises to low-paid staff.

"We're looking forward to having a positive conversation with the administration regarding our low-paid workforce, which has certainly shared in the sacrifice," Weekes added. "These low-paid employees are caring for the Commonwealth's most vulnerable on behalf of the state, and we expect that they will soon receive proper compensation for the incredible job that they do."

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.