Letter: Supported care workers deserve raise

February 10, 2014 

Thanks to the Tri-City Herald for including a story about supported care workers rallying in Olympia for a wage increase. As the parent of an adult child with developmental disabilities, I know firsthand how important these workers are to helping my daughter Lindsey live successfully in our community.

Lindsey relies on not just the many forms of support, including help with health, work, hygiene, transportation, appointments and more, but also on a consistent relationship with someone she trusts and appreciates.

The more than 13,000 supported living workers who help families like mine have had their state hourly wages cut twice, in 2009 and 2011. Low pay leads to high rates of turnover which makes it very hard to maintain continuity of relationship for Lindsey and others in her circumstances. These workers deserve a fair wage! Individuals getting treated with 24-hour care like my daughter Lindsey also deserve quality of care from providers who are confident with their pay. I hope Washington legislators will recognize them and provide a moderate increase to their modest wages.

ANDREA MALLONEE, Kennewick

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