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TO: Members of ABH, ADDP and the Providers’ Council

FROM: Vic DiGravio, Gary Blumenthal and Michael Weekes
RE: Jobs – Community Building – Fairness and the FY '11 Salary Reserve
DATE: February 16, 2010

Dear Members:

The Collaborative – made up of the Association for Behavioral Healthcare, the

Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers and the Providers' Council – is
continuing to advocate on your behalf throughout the FY '11 budget debate. To support
job creation and development, community building and fairness for our workforce, we
are asking the legislature to fund a $28 million salary reserve for 30,000 of the lowest-
paid human services workers. As you know, the human service salary reserve helps
provider organizations recruit and retain high-quality, professional direct support
professionals. Since 1997, the salary reserve has provided more than $212 million in
funding to help pay hard-working direct care workers.

Chapter 257, our landmark rate-setting legislation, was enacted in 2008. We believe that
when Chapter 257 is fully implemented at the end of the four-year phase-in period, the
salary reserve will no longer be needed to supplement the income of our low-income
workforce. The state has failed to honor its obligation to implement Chapter 257, and The
Collaborative is pursuing a separate effort to assure full implementation of rate reform.
In the meantime, however, the salary reserve is needed to provide a cost-of-living
adjustment for our workforce.

The Collaborative is committed to securing funding for this important line item for our
workforce, as they work every day with one purpose: to provide the highest-quality care
to the individuals in our society who need it the most. During the budget hearings by the
Joint Committee on Ways & Means, The Collaborative will make funding a salary
reserve for the lowest-paid direct care staff and protecting existing jobs two of our top
priorities. Our workforce surely deserves nothing less than our full-throated support of
these important initiatives.

We are continually impressed by your dedication to the clients that you serve. And now,
more than ever, it is vitally important that we all stand together to fight for both the most
vulnerable in the state and those with the toughest jobs in our own organizations – our
frontline direct care staff. With our collective voice, we can ensure that we're heard and
make a better future for the people we care about today. We hope you will join us in
asking your legislators to adequately fund the reserve as an important job preservation
and development initiative for our sector.

Thank you for your hard work and continued advocacy. We look forward to working
with you throughout the FY '11 budget process and in our joint efforts to ensure fair pay
for our direct support professionals.


Vic DiGravio Gary Blumenthal Michael Weekes

ABH ADDP Providers’ Council