Further, when a program works, it may still be shut down because a provider can get twice as much for a new program, as to keep a program that works up and running. This is just nuts!
While the state doesn’t adjust what it pays for inflation, it does pay more for services in newer contracts than older ones. Brady said he makes do the way other service providers manage – he takes on newer, better paying contracts to subsidize his earlier ones.
A bill in the Statehouse, backed by Rep. Barbara L’Italien and Sen. Susan Tucker, both Andover Democrats, would allow human service providers to bid on contracts based on the actual cost of doing the service. It also would establish a rate-setting commission to review rates annually.
How bad is it:
There are 185,000 human service workers in Massachusetts. A University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute study found that human service workers earn less than if they had taken comparable jobs elsewhere in the health care industry. The median pay is about $9,000 less than if they’d taken a job elsewhere. Those who work for state facilities earn nearly $15,000 less.
Brady, whose agency employs 330 people across the region, said many of his caregivers could earn more working at McDonald’s, and that some are eligible for food stamps.
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This is shameful. I am told there is a “stuck bill” in Senate Ways and Means. I also understand that the Chair of SWM, Senator Panagiotakos, is on six conference committees with a budget deadline to meet.
That all being said, the reality is that starving human services demeans and places at risk the most vulnerable citizens.
One day, I hope to say, “Together we did better.”