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Caring Across Generations Statement on the Insufficient Wage Increase for Direct Care Workers in the 2024 State Budget
Lack of family-sustaining wages and benefits for direct care workers directly harms families across Michigan
LANSING, Mich. – On Wednesday, June 28, the Michigan legislature passed their final FY 2024 state budget which decreased Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed $1.50 wage increase for direct care workers providing Medicaid home- and community-based services to only $0.85. Gov. Whitmer’s initial budget draft included a $210.1 million proposal to provide a 10% boost in wages for direct care workers providing critical care services to tens of thousands of Michiganders, including older adults and disabled people.
Callie Bruley, Senior Campaign Manager at Caring Across Generations, released the following statement in response to this decrease:
“While it’s very important to see Michigan’s direct care workers receive a wage increase, the final budget still falls short of providing a family-sustaining wage and addressing the heart of Michigan’s urgent care needs: investment in good jobs for the direct care workforce.
“Michigan needs more care than ever, but the care workforce is in crisis. A direct care worker shortage, caused by low wages and poor benefits, harms everyone in the state – especially family caregivers, disabled people, and older adults. These essential workers provide lifesaving care to our families and communities but they have been left out by government investments year after year.
“Direct care workers care for our aging family members and disabled loved ones so that they can live independently and with dignity. They enable our families to thrive. It’s beyond time that Michigan’s elected officials not only make care jobs good, family-sustaining wage jobs to fix the deepening staffing crisis but also work to uproot the structural racism, sexism, and ableism that keeps care work undervalued.
“It is time to make permanent investments to strengthen Michigan’s care infrastructure for our families, loved ones, the economy, and our future.”
Caring Across Generations is a national organization of family caregivers, care workers, disabled people, and aging adults working to transform the way we care in this country so that care is accessible, affordable and equitable— and our systems of care enable everyone to live and age with dignity.
To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care. For more information, visit caringacross.org.