Senator John Hoffman and Senator Kent Eken explain why they are advocating for a 5% increase for home and community-based caregivers.
The fate of nearly 91,000 home and community-based caregivers and staff’s futures await a vote in St. Paul.
The 5% Campaign has worked tirelessly for more than a year to secure a modest 5% increase for caregivers and the services they provide across the state. Last week the House and Governor announced 4% increases in their respective budgets; but Senator Eken (DFL-Twin Valley), the chief author of 5% campaign legislation in the Senate, and Senator Hoffman (DFL-Champlin, Brooklyn Park and Coon Rapids), a co-author of the bill explain why a 4% increase just isn’t enough.
“We’ve fallen behind in supporting this industry; these caregivers deserve fair compensation for all of the difficult, labor intensive work and support they provide to people with disabilities and older adults. Without these dedicated workers hundreds of thousands of Minnesota families would be at a loss. Now is the year for us to give home and community based care givers the support they deserve,” said Sen. Eken.
“The 5% Campaign is about maintaining quality care for thousands of people across the state. Caregivers do this work because of the differences they can make. Too often though, they just can’t make ends meet and they have to find alternative work in order to pay the bills. By ensuring a 5% increase the legislature can help maintain quality care and help lower turnover rates” said Sen. Hoffman.
Consistent staff with low turnover is the foundation for quality care. By giving home and community based caregivers a 5% rate increase, service providers will be able to better retain staff, reduce turnover and maintain consistent high quality care. The only way this group of workers receives a pay increase, is if the legislature allocates it to them. These caregivers have gone six years without a rate increase and have faced almost a decade of budget cuts. This has directly inhibited the industry to recruit and retain employees. A 5% increase is a modest amount given the breadth and depth of services caregivers provide.