105 Campus Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820
Springbrook, Otsego County’s third largest employer, has increased pay rates for the organization’s direct support professionals (or DSPs) ahead of Governor Cuomo’s tiered schedule for minimum wage increases.
Implemented on January 1, 2017, the wage increase affects Springbrook’s full-time DSPs and represents a $1.2 million investment by the organization. The increase brings Springbrook’s base pay for DSPs up to New York State’s scheduled 2019 minimum wage for the Otsego County area, with growth opportunities for experience and education. In addition to raising the starting wage, the organization has also increased all current DSP salaries by a minimum of $1.00 per hour. For over ten years Springbrook has implemented a cost-of-living or other pay increase for all employees.
Springbrook’s Chief Executive Officer, Patricia Kennedy, explains the organization’s wage increases:
“Direct support professionals at Springbrook, and across the state, shoulder an enormous amount of responsibility. They are educators, first responders, mentors, and advocates. New York State has failed to adequately provide organizations like Springbrook the financial resources to fairly compensate DSPs for their essential work. This lack of support directly affects the ability of providers to attract and retain qualified employees. We have reached a crisis point across the state. Springbrook is committed to the success, at work, and at home, of every person who chooses to work for our organization. This sweeping wage increase is our way of proving that commitment. We refuse to wait for New York State to fix this problem for us.”
The January 1 increase is part of the larger Springbrook 2020 Plan that will guide the organization for the next five years. The plan takes into consideration DSP wages as well as other documented factors that contribute to high turnover rates, including access to training, education, and career advancement. “Our board and executive team have proactive in addressing many of the issues that face similar organizations. Because of that resolve, we face the future with confidence and the resources necessary to continue to grow. We are proud that Springbrook’s turnover rate is much lower than the New York State average, which is nearly 30%, and we plan to continue to lead the way,” shares Kennedy.
As part of the Springbrook 2020 plan, Springbrook will expand educational opportunities for DSPs through new college partnerships. These educational programs will offer qualified Springbrook employees without college degrees the opportunity to earn credentials that can be used to work toward a bachelor’s degree. The organization also provides comprehensive benefits packages. Benefits for all full-time employees include health, dental, and vision insurance, 401(k) retirement, life insurance, a minimum of 160 hours (20 days) of paid time off and 64 hours (8 days) of paid sick time, as well as the Springbrook Scholars program for employees interested in pursuing advanced degrees while working at Springbrook.
For more information regarding Direct Support positions, or to apply to Springbrook, individuals should visit www.springbrookny.org.