Give support staff 5 percent raise

Published 1:17 pm Friday, January 3, 2014

Poverty wages for professional work. That’s what staff members receive for the demanding jobs they perform, which enables my son to create a life for himself in our community. Increasing the funding for disability services needs to be high priority for the 2014 Legislature.

Our son has autism and has Type 1 diabetes- insulin dependent. He currently resides in our home, but the time is coming soon where we will be looking at a group home environment for him to reside.

This is extremely difficult to face as a parent; to entrust and feel confident in others for the caring of our son along with giving him the highest quality of care that we expect as parents. He requires assistance with his daily living skills and very importantly with following his medical health and diet. This requires well trained staff and staff that want to see our son succeed as we do.

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As mom, I have worked in this field of assisting individuals with disabilities for over 31 years. I am concerned about the number of open positions that I am increasingly seeing in this field and the positions are not quickly getting filled. It is harder and harder to find staff who wants to make this their career due to the lack of pay raises in this field and not able to support a family on their current wage. It has been over five years since there has been a pay raise and the cost of living, gas, food, insurance costs, etc., continue to rise.

My fear is that further funding will be cut, no raises will be given, quality staff will not be available, but most of all my son will not be able to live the life that he has talked about and dreamed of.

Please give this serious consideration in the 2014 Legislature and support the 5 percent campaign and wage increase for the professional staff who works in the field supporting my son and other individuals with disabilities.


Peg Neff
Albert Lea