Members of the state’s largest public employee union say caring for the disabled is a tough job – and a low-paying one as well. The bulk of these direct service providers – DSP’s – work for agencies with whom the state contracts.
AFSCME is pushing for a raise of four dollars an hour from the current starting wage of $16.25.
People working in fast food make more,” said Veronica Lea, a provider at a facility in Crest Hill. “We will take care of people – who could be your grandma. Grandpa. Aunt. Uncle. Father. Mother. Siblings. They have earned the respect and the top care that we provide. But the pay is so low that people leave!”
The Illinois Association of Rehabilitation Facilities agrees – the pay is too low. IARF’s president, Josh Evans, said in a statement:
“We strongly support the call from frontline workers for higher wages at our facilities. We agree with them that a $4 per hour increase in the wage is a necessary next step to encourage more people to join us in serving those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and to turn those jobs into rewarding careers.
Our workforce shortages are very real and very troubling. We still need to work through some differences on how the wage increase would work, but we stand right with the workers on the need for higher wages. They need to be paid more, as soon as possible, so we can improve care for those we serve.”
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May 1, 2023 at 08:02AM