July was a very challenging month for CLASS as we finalized the contract with our direct-care workforce. We appreciate your understanding as we completed this process and we’re excited to completely focus on “redefining what’s possible!”
Starting now, we want to help all our families understand the challenges we face this year.
- CLASS is 99 percent funded by state contracts.
- Over the last four years, the state contract rate increased only 1.2 percent for individuals requiring the highest level of support in our Day Habilitation program. Meanwhile, minimum wage increased 37 percent.
- Janitors and file clerk positions, requiring only a high school education and limited responsibility, are paid higher wages on average than our direct-care staff.
Despite our workforce challenges, we remain committed to the safety and comfort of our individuals and staff, to providing high quality services in a high quality environment. This last year we significantly renovated our Lawrence facility: a new roof, HVAC systems, accessible ramps, new floors, new paint schemes, and other improvements. Thanks to a tax-exempt bond issued by MassDevelopment, we were able to make these critical upgrades to our 130-year-old mill building.
Our programming continues to create meaningful days for every individual and upgrades to our facility will invigorate everything that happens under our new roof.
We’re grateful for your continued engagement, support and caring about CLASS’s future. Now we’re asking you to join us as we urge the Governor, state legislators, the Department of Developmental Services and MassHealth to support human service providers with rate increases proportional to the increase in minimum wage, due to increase every year until it is set at $15 an hour in 2023.
Please add your voice to ours in our ongoing letter campaign for higher rates to support higher wages. Please tell us you’re on board – call me or your case coordinator to add your name to our list of willing advocates.