On Monday, May 13, Representative Denise Garlick and Senator Barry Finegold filed the final version of HD1130, a bill to combat the workforce shortage crisis facing the Commonwealth.
The bill, titled “An act relative to meeting the human services workforce demand,” requires a minimum $17/hour wage for entry level direct care or support staff of a human services provider, with a goal of achieving $24/hour by 2025. It also establishes that the Executive Office of Health and Human Services shall implement a long-term plan, within 8-months, to address the human services workforce shortage and sets up enforcement mechanisms.
We applaud Rep. Garlick and Sen. Finegold in leading the legislature to tackle this crisis. We know many of you are experiencing the workforce shortage right now.
According to a 2017 Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Survey, 92% caregivers indicated difficulty with finding direct support professionals (DSP). In addition, 72% of Massachusetts human service providers report that it has become increasingly more challenging to fill job openings over the past three years.
Not only is it difficult to hire support staff, it’s become increasingly difficult to retain quality staff as well. The national turnover rate for our workforce who supports people with disabilities and their families, is an estimated 46%, with about 38% leaving in the first six months.
We must act now to solve this workforce shortage and we need your help!
Please contact your state Representative and Senator today to cosponsor HD 1130, An act relative to meeting the human services workforce demand. We currently have 60 cosponsors (10 Senators, 50 Representatives) for the bill – now let’s shoot for the entire legislature! The deadline for cosponsors to be added is 5 pm on May 20. Be sure to personalize the email letter below with your personal information and concerns as you send to your legislator.
Before contacting your legislators, be sure to visit https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/HD1130 to see whether they have already signed on to cosponsor the bill. If they have, be sure to email them to express your gratitude.