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Bucco Commends Pay Increase for Direct Support Professionals Who Assist Individuals With Disabilities During COVID-19

April 30, 2020 |

Senator Anthony M. Bucco applauded the three-month temporary salary raise for Direct Support Professionals (DSP) working with the more than 30,000 New Jersey residents with disabilities amid the pandemic.

“DSPs provide invaluable, hands-on support to those in our communities with intellectual and developmental disabilities, helping to enrich their lives on a daily basis,” said Bucco (R-25). “The growing DSP shortage was threatening the health and safety of our family members, friends, and neighbors with disabilities across the Garden State. This salary increase will help lower the high turnover rates and attract more to this profession throughout this COVID-19 crisis.”

On April 21, Bucco wrote to Governor Murphy requesting to increase funding for Direct Support Professionals until they are paid at least $26 an hour on a permanent basis.

On April 30, Gov. Murphy made an appropriation of $24 million of state and federal funds for temporary wage increases. Starting May 1, the New Jersey Department of Human Services will implement a temporary $3 an hour wage increase for these professionals throughout the next three months.

After the pay increase was announced today, Sen. Bucco received thanks for his efforts to support direct support professionals from Tracy Mendola, Regional State Director – Northern NJ and Executive Director – Morris/Sussex/Essex for Community Options, Inc.

“Please accept my gratitude and the gratitude of Community Options, Inc. for your support and advocacy to obtain a wage increase for Direct Support Professionals during this time of COVID-19,” said Mendola. “Your attention to ensure the continued care of the vulnerable individuals we support does not go unnoticed.”

“While this is a step in the right direction, the governor and legislature must do more to ensure these front line healthcare workers are properly compensated,” added Bucco. “These selfless workers dedicate their lives to help our most vulnerable population and should be adequately compensated for the care they provide.”