7 years of economic immobility
Oregon service providers have absorbed the rising cost of a DSP position - including yearly increases when they could - without additional funding increases or COLA since 2009. The 4% rate increase effective January 1, 2016 allows for an average wage rate of $11.23 per hour for direct care staff. That’s just over $23,300 per year. DSP’s are the critical element of care for those who need their support to live a full, inclusive life - however, these poverty wages are forcing many to choose jobs with higher pay to support themselves and their families. This is causing critical retention and recruitment issues for service providers across the state and escalating costs of staff retraining. An increasing number of DSPs that remain need public assistance just to get by – some providers have employees who are actually homeless. This is unacceptable.
Some additional facts:
- DSPs are the lowest paid caregivers in the IDD system yet, provide the same level and depth of service as those paid much more.
- Currently, there are over 1,400 open positions for DSPs.
- 6,459 employees working in Oregon residential agencies who serve individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities received $20M in public aid* to make up for the gap in wages.
- The average cost of living in Oregon is $47,000** which puts the DSP wage at poverty level income.