Advocate for Direct Support Professionals in Illinois!
Recently, Search and other agencies throughout the state of Illinois have been facing a critical shortage of direct caregiving staff. Direct Support Professionals, or DSPs, are the backbone of our organization and provide vital, life-saving support for people with disabilities. DSPs help individuals with everything from eating, bathing, and administrating medication to job and life-skills training. Starting wages for DSPs, on average, are just $10.49 per hour, according to the most recent National Core Indicators Staff Stability Survey.
Thanks to recent advocacy efforts unified under the They Deserve More campaign, the State of Illinois passed two recent rate increases. Thanks so much to all of you who advocated on this issue and made this important progress possible!
Although these recent rate increases, totaling $1.25 an hour, were a significant development for Search (and other agencies throughout the state), they are just a start. The workforce crisis has coincided with annual minimum wage increases in Chicago as well as historically low unemployment rates. This means that the DSP workforce crisis remains Search’s number one challenge.
With the start of the 2019 state budgeting process, we are again asking for your support in advocating for DSPs.
Support Senate Bill 1148 and House Bill 2148: Provide livable wages for DSPs!
Being a DSP is hard work and requires extensive training.
HB 2148 and SB 1148 would increase rates and reimbursements so that DSPs earn a base wage of at least $5.25 per hour above the highest applicable minimum wage by July 2019, and at least $6.75 per hour above the highest applicable minimum wage by July 2021.
Your help is needed!
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Visit the They Deserve More website to sign up for updates and write your legislator