Two local ARCs have joined forces to call on the legislature to include a 3% wage increase for direct support workers in the state budget.

The ARC of Delaware County and ARC Otsego collectively employ almost 500 individuals, over 300 of whom are the people who directly support the agencies' 800 children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Despite being responsible for the health and safety of the people they support, the position usually only pays between $11 and $12 per hour.

The ARCs state that these workers have not received a wage increase in almost four years, and that many receive public assistance or need to work second jobs.

These two local non-profit agencies have joined with New York State ARC (NYSARC) and the Cerebral Palsy Association of New York to call on the governor and the state to recognize the contributions of direct care workers and to provide the funding, calling the pay raise "much needed, long overdue, and well-deserved."

Lynne Sessions of ARC Otsego had this to add: