LETTER: NuPath CEO Dismayed By Patrick Budget Cut
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Editor's Note: NuPath provides services to people with various disabilities in number of area towns and cities, including Lynnfield.
On Sunday, I received word that Governor Patrick had completed his work on the 2013 budget and had slashed $10 million dollars from a line item that would have given direct care professionals at NuPath and across the state a 2 percent raise.
I was more than shocked. These are the lowest paid employees in the Commonwealth who do some of the most difficult work. These are the people who provide the direct care to one in ten vulnerable residents. They are the drivers, the job coaches, and the mentors. They clean the feeding tubes, re-position those that cannot move and provide the most personal of care. They lift, transport, stay overnight and they do all of this for about $10 to 12 dollars an hour. To make matters even worse, they have not received a raise in over five years!
They are our most dedicated workers and they are being forgotten once again. During a time when state employees are receiving raises amounting to 3 percent – with some offices offering 16 percent – NuPath employees are being given less than one percent in this budget crafted by our Governor. Additionally, the Governor removed the annualized wage adjustment and plans to give employees only a one-time payment.
I am sickened by the thought of telling my dedicated, extremely hard working people that they have been forgotten once again. How do I possibly communicate my deep appreciation for their sacrifices when the Commonwealth clearly does not value their work?
During the past several months, NuPath has hosted our local state legislators. They all expressed their full support for the Salary Reserve and passed a budget containing the fund that would have given direct care workers a 2 percent raise of about $600/year. They made achieving this salary adjustment one of their most pressing priorities, and they ensured money for these most essential workers was in the budget. In conversations with them over the past few days, they were shocked and more than dismayed by the Governor’s actions and have vowed to work to override his veto and restore the $10 million dollars for my workers.
Excellence in service to our people has always been the goal of NuPath, but our staff is ignored by our Governor time and again. We hope our friends in the Legislature make this right by putting this small amount of money back into the budget for these most hardworking of people!
President and CEO