Monday, January 30, 2017

MI Advocates Support Wage Increase of $1/hour for Direct Support Workers

Below is an alert from MALA, the Michigan Assisted Living Association, in conjunction with the Partnership for Fair Caregiver Wages. These organizations are requesting that you urge the Michigan Governor and Lt. Governor to support a $1/hour wage increase for direct support workers throughout the state. Those are the people who work directly with our loved ones in all kinds of settings. Anyone who is receiving support services through a community mental health agency is probably aware of the difficulty in finding and keeping people who provide high quality care and direct support. Low wages for these workers is a nationwide problem that has reached crisis proportions. "It is estimated that a Medicaid gross appropriation of $90 million would provide this wage increase."


Governor to Release Budget Recommendations on February 8 – Your Advocacy is Needed!

MALA is providing this urgent budget alert to request your immediate assistance in advocating for additional Medicaid funding to increase staff wages. Governor Rick Snyder will be announcing his executive budget recommendations for the October 1, 2017-18 fiscal year on February 8. MALA and other members of the Partnership for Fair Caregiver Wages met with the Governor’s office and the State Budget Director in November to discuss the staffing crisis in the public mental health system.

We urge you to send letters today to the Governor, Lt. Governor and MDHHS Director. Download their contact information. Also download talking points for your letters.

The Partnership’s recommendation is for a $1.00 per hour wage increase in the next fiscal year for direct support workers throughout the state. It is estimated that a Medicaid gross appropriation of $90 million would provide this wage increase.

Please act now and feel free to call or e-mail us if you have any questions regarding this urgent budget alert.

General Counsel
1-800-482-0118 ext. 2400

General Counsel
1-800-482-0118 ext. 2401

−A staffing crisis currently exists in the recruitment and retention of direct support workers providing Medicaid mental health services throughout the state. These services include community living supports, personal care, skill building and supported employment. 

− The Interim Report of the 298 Facilitation Workgroup includes Section 7 on workforce training, quality and retention. This Section specifically indicates that all Affinity Group participants recommended raising the wages and benefits of direct care staff. 

− The Section 1009 Report developed as a result of boilerplate language in the 2015-16 state budget bill recommends a starting wage of $2.00 per hour above the minimum wage, or $10.90 per hour. 

− The Partnership for Fair Caregiver Wages conducted a survey in August 2016. The survey findings included an average starting wage statewide for direct support staff of $9.30 per hour. The average turnover rate in this survey is 40%. 

− Low staff wage levels and high turnover rates have an adverse impact upon the continuity of services and quality of life for people with disabilities funded through the public mental health system. 

− It is strongly recommended that additional Medicaid funding of $90 million be appropriated in the 2017-18 budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. This funding would provide for a staff wage increase of $1.00 per hour.

See also the "1009 report" Executive Summary

Contact Information

Governor Rick Snyder 
P.O. Box 30013 
Lansing, Michigan 48909 
Phone: 517-335-7858 
Online contact information – 
Click on Contact the Governor and Share Your Opinion 

Lt. Governor Brian Calley 
P.O. Box 30013 
Lansing, Michigan 48909 
Phone: 517-373-3400 

Nick Lyon
Director Michigan Department of Health and Human Services 
333 S. Grand Ave. 
P.O. Box 30195 
Lansing, Michigan 48909

No comments: