Oppose Cuts to Disability Services in New York

NEJB UNITE HERE represents 1,000 workers who work with people with developmental disabilities as employees of non-profit human services agencies throughout the New York Metropolitan Area. The state’s recent transition from institutional-based services to community-based care is being undermined by the proposed 30-day amendments to the 2013-2014 state budget. The amendments propose additional deep cuts to agencies that serve people with disabilities.

These amendments amount to an almost 6% reduction in funding to provider agencies. Almost all OPWDD services are funded through Medicaid with state dollars and matching federal dollars. This cut would amount to a total loss of $240 million to the non-profit provider agencies. These community based services have already faced more than $350 million in cuts targeting developmental disabilities services. With funding already at a low, this cut could force agencies to lay off staff putting the health and safety of those they care for at risk.

These cuts would come at a time where funding is already a serious issue that affects services and care for people with developmental disabilities. Our members and other staff in this industry work extremely hard for low pay. They describe the work they do, caring for those with developmental disabilities, as “God’s work”. Our members provide assistance with bathing, feeding, using wheel chairs, controlling behavioral problems, and coordinate recreational activities and outings. Thousands of families depend on these services to keep their loved ones safe, healthy, and happy. These services are vital in helping individuals with developmental disabilities lead fulfilling and productive lives as citizens of our communities.

Please join us in standing up to protect jobs and people with developmental disabilities. Urge your legislators to say no to the 6% cut to OPWDD services.

Contact your New York State Senators (http://www.nysenate.gov/senators) and Assembly Members (http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/) Tell them NO CUTS TO OPWDD!