Waves, along with other service provider agencies across the state of Tennessee, are currently asking the state to provide an amendment to the Governor’s budget to allow for a $1 per hour pay increase for direct support professionals (DSPs) throughout the state. These DSPs are at the heart of the services organizations like Waves provides to those in our communities with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Our most vulnerable citizens are in danger of losing critical support services because those who help them make it through the day–DSPs–are not being paid competitive wages and cannot afford to remain in their current jobs. These ‘frontline’ workers are worth more than what they are being paid, and it is vital the state allocate funds to provide a fair wage.

Service provider organizations are faced with a myriad of funding challenges impacting their operations, and are not able to provide the wage increase on their own. If service providers, such as Waves, are not able to pay DSPs a competitive wage, it makes it difficult to recruit and retain people in these positions. Failing to retain these specialized and trained direct care workers will potentially jeopardize and burden the health and safety of intellectually and developmentally disabled Tennesseans and their families.

Please contact the following legislators and ask them to support this wage increase! To read more about this issue, click here.