ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — For months leading up to the budget, supporters of Fair Pay for Home Care voiced their support for a wage increase. Even to the point of facing arrest for staying in the capitols war room, after hours.
Health care analyst, Kendra Scalia says these wage increases could actually make things worse. Many health care workers outside the city make an average of $13.20/hour. She says most of these aides receive benefits like Medicaid, SNAP and housing assistance, the change in salary could make them ineligible for these benefits.
“What could very likely happen is that the three dollar an hour increase over the next two years is going to encourage individuals to work less hours rather than continue to work at a full time schedule,” Scalia said.
She says the budget should have accounted for a wage of $22.50 an hour. The lack of funding could ultimately push people away from working in the industry.
However, Hochul referred to the wage increase as a “debt of gratitude.” Blaise Bryant, who is completely blind and requires a part time aide, says the three dollar increase isn’t enough.
He thinks the Governor’s $1.4 billion investment in the Buffalo Bills Stadium could have been used elsewhere. “It essentially says that the Buffalo Bills were more important than the needs of seniors, people with disabilities, and the people who take care of them,” Bryant said.
Capital Correspondent, Amal Tlaige, did reach out to the legislation’s key sponsors but couldn’t reach them for comment. Home care workers will receive a $2-an-hour raise by October and a total $3-an-hour raise by 2023.