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Statement from Executive Director Bryan O’Malley on the Increase in the “Upstate Minimum Wage”

“New York State is the epicenter of a national home care workforce crisis. According to national experts, the state has a shortage of almost 50,000 home care workers, which means tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities are going without critically needed healthcare services or are being unnecessarily forced into nursing homes.

While an increase in the minimum wage is necessary, the Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Association of New York State (CDPAANYS) highlights that businesses in the Upstate region who are not reliant on the state for funding, such as Stewart’s Shops, Amazon warehouses, and McDonald’s, are already paying their workers $15 – $17/hour. At this point, increasing the minimum wage will not do anything to address the home care workforce crisis.

For meaningful action, we must enact Fair Pay for Home Care, legislation sponsored by Senator Rachel May (Onondaga, Madison) and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried (New York County), which would set wages for home care workers at 150% of the highest minimum wage in a region, or $22.50/hour. This would solve the home care workforce crisis once and for all.”