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Letter: Direct-care workers deserve higher pay

New York State should provide more money for

New York State should provide more money for pay raises to aides who work with adults with special needs. Photo Credit: iSTOCK

I am a parent of multiple young adults with Down syndrome, and I’m writing in support of better pay for care workers [“Special-needs facilities workers need higher wages,” Letters, Oct. 8].

My children function on different levels and are assisted by programs such as supported work, and day and community habilitation services. These programs succeed because of the dedication and hard work of direct support professionals. These employees have helped my children grow to their potential and be involved in the community.

Currently, these direct care employees earn a wage that is lower than they could get at a fast-food or big-box store. Why would we give such a huge responsibility to someone and not be willing to compensate them correctly?

Many work for nonprofit agencies that contract with New York State, and the state is not offering the funds required to support a living wage. We are losing many needed, dedicated employees.

Marilyn Bennett, Centereach

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