CALL FOR ACTION for Gov Murphy for budget

Dear Coalition for a DSP Living Wage:

Yesterday, the New Jersey Legislature introduced its budget proposal for FY2020 that includes $20 million in new funding to increase wages for direct support professionals. The full Legislature is expected to vote on the measure this Thursday and then it will go to the Governor for consideration where he has until June 30 to sign.

While $20 million falls short of our funding need for $54 million, we are grateful to the Senate President Sweeney and members of the Legislature for understanding the need for continued investment in the DSP workforce. The Coalition is continuing to advocate for more money, but it’s critical that the Governor–at the very least–keeps $20 million in the final budget for DSP wages.

Over these next two weeks, we need your help telling Governor Murphy #WeCantWait for funding. The DSP crisis is happening NOW and we need the state to act NOW!

Please take 2 minutes to call, email or mail the Governor (or even better, do all three). Below are messaging points and contact information. If you have any questions, please contact libby@absnj.com .

Thank you in advance for your advocacy!

Sincerely,
Valerie Sellers
Chairperson


 

  • Call Governor Murphy: 609-292-6000

Messaging Points for Phone Call:

Hello, my name is [Insert Name] and I am a [Insert Title – DSP, self-advocate, parent, etc.]
I am calling to urge Governor Murphy to include $54Million for Direct Support Professionals in the FY2020 budget. The Legislature’s Budget proposal includes $20 Million to increase wages, which is much appreciated, but the truth is we need much more to secure a competitive wage that will draw quality workers to the profession.

The DSP workforce is in crisis, much in part to very low wages. It’s virtually impossible to compete at an average starting wage of $11, with many retailers already paying $15 per hour and the state’s minimum wage on a path to $15 per hour for jobs that are less demanding and require significantly less responsibility and skill than direct support. DSP work is not minimum wage work.

The staff turnover rate is 44% and vacancy rate is 20%, which are jeopardizing the health and safety of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community settings. We can’t wait for action.

I am hoping we can count on the Governor in FY2020 to make NJ stronger and fairer for NJ residents with I/DD by helping secure a competitive wage for DSPs.

 


 

E-mail Governor Murphy: https://nj.gov/governor/contact/

Mailing Address:
The Honorable Phil Murphy
Office of the Governor
PO Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

Sample Email/Letter to Governor Murphy

Dear Governor Murphy:

As a (parent, DSP, self-advocate, etc.), I am writing to urge you to include $54 Million for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in the FY2020 budget. The Legislature’s Budget proposal calls for $20 Million in new funding to increase DSP wages, which is much appreciated, but we need much more to secure a competitive wage that will draw quality workers to the profession.

The DSP workforce is in crisis, much in part to very low wages. It’s virtually impossible to compete at an average starting wage of $11, with many retailers already paying $15 p/h and the state’s minimum wage on a path to $15 p/h for jobs that are less demanding and require significantly less responsibility and skill than direct support. DSP work is not minimum wage work.

The DSP turnover rate is 44% and vacancy rate 20%, which are jeopardizing the health and safety of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in community settings. We can’t wait for action.

I am hopeful we can count on you in FY2020 to make NJ stronger and fairer for NJ residents with I/DD by helping secure a competitive wage for DSPs.

Sincerely,
(INSERT NAME)

THANK YOU FOR YOUR ADVOCACY!

 

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