As previously reported, the Michigan Assisted Living Association (MALA) has been participating during the past year as a member of the Partnership for Fair Caregiver Wages. The Partnership is a coalition of state-wide organizations and nonprofit providers which are advocating vigorously for additional Medicaid funding to increase direct support staff wages. In addition to MALA, the Partnership’s membership includes private organizations, The Arc Michigan, and Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards.
Although the 2015-16 Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Service (MDHHS) budget will not include additional Medicaid funding for increased direct support staff wages, the Partnership remains fully committed to this issue. We are working with key legislators in an effort to include boilerplate language in the MDHHS budget bill which would create a workgroup or some other method for developing a plan to enhance staff recruitment and retention.
The Partnership will also be conducting this month a workforce survey of Direct Service Providers. The survey will be requesting data on average wage levels and turnover rates for direct support staff.
MALA has volunteered to distribute the survey to Direct Service Providers on behalf of the Partnership through Survey Monkey. We strongly encourage you to complete the survey when you receive it later this month. The collection of workforce data is critical to our ongoing advocacy efforts.