Monday, March 31, 2014

Maryland Bill Focuses on DSP Wages

Such an important issue in every state. If your organization is not already a member of the American Network of Community Options and Resources, then you should be, as ANCOR's National Advocacy Campaign is focused on raising the professionalism and wages of all Direct Support Professionals.

Tony, Chucky and Barry live in a typical suburban house in a typical suburban neighborhood. They leave for work in the morning, and come home again at the end of the day.
In the evenings Tony usually relaxes in his favorite chair, the TV on in the background, while Barry watches Westerns in his room. Chucky either watches TV with Tony, or finds tasks to do around the house.
To lead these lives though, Tony, Chucky and Barry need help. “The guys”, as their support staff collectively refer to them, all have varying degrees of developmental disabilities.
They live in a group home paid for by the state.
Their “work” is a day program of individualized activities they attend with other people with developmental disabilities. And in their house they have Charlene Smith-Scott and Jared Knight-Hopkins, the support staff who help them with their daily functions.
How much to pay support staff like Smith-Scott and Knight-Hopkins is the subject of SB890, sponsored by Sen. Thomas Mac Middleton, head of the Finance Committee. The bill aims to ensure that the compensation for support staff always remains at least 50% above the minimum wage.

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