In this section:
Resources for Providers
Tell Your Story
Facts and Figures
Frame your conversations in the context of the value -- or importance -- of what you do for your community and people. Talk about this value often and with conviction, so that the public and elected officials understand the necessity of quality, person-centered services for Minnesotans with disabilities. Remember: The goal of grassroots advocacy is to put a human face on the issue.
Four things to remember when talking to your legislator:
- Always begin with: “I am your constituent … ”
- Be authentic; speak from the heart.
- Offer to be a resource on disability issues. In addition, please contact ARRM if your legislator has further questions that you aren’t able to address (like policy issues).
- Thank your legislator for their time.
Messages for CEOs, executive directors, and managers
- Talk about about how the continuing cost of turnover negatively impacts the resources that can be spent on care.
- Explain how maintaining consistent, qualified staff has a positive impact on your business - and the people you serve.
- Describe how private providers have seen a growing gap between the salary they are able to pay employees and the salary that state employees receive for doing the same work. It is not only a matter of fairness, but it hinders the ability for private providers to effectively compete.
- THE ASK: "Over the past few years, private providers have been a part of the solution to resolving state budget problems. However, high turnover rates have made it difficult for private providers to maintain the consistent, qualified staff needed to continue to provide high-quality services to people with disabilities in Minnesota. This year, please pass a cost of living adjustment that will enable private providers to pay staff competitive wages and continue to provide people with disabilities the high standard of care they deserve."
- Tell your story. Explain how your current salary has impacted your life. Talk about the rising costs of health care coverage. Describe additional jobs or work you perform to meet basic needs.
- Describe turnover within your agency and how it impacts you. Are you forced to pick up extra tasks to fill in the gaps?
- Explain how you see turnover affecting those that you serve on a daily basis.
- THE ASK: "As a caregiver for a private provider, the lack of a wage adjustment combined with increased healthcare costs and inflation, have made it difficult for me to make ends meet. Many caregivers work multiple jobs. Others have left the field to pursue higher-paying jobs. As a result, frequent staff changes negatively affect the people with disabilities they support who depend on consistency. Please pass a cost of living adjustment so that caregivers receive fair wages and so that the people they support receive the high level of care they deserve."
- Talk about your family member(s) and the life they are able to lead because of the services they receive. (Use ARRM's grassroots tool for families to help you organize and illustrate your key points.)
- Discuss the impact of constantly changing staff on the lives of your family member(s).
- THE ASK: "High staff turnover has a negative impact on my loved one. Please pass a cost of living adjustment to help private providers maintain consistent qualified staff so that the people with disabilities they serve receive the high level of care they deserve."
- Talk about the job you hold or the volunteer work you do in the community.
- Describe how the agency that serves you positively impacts your life. Explain how staff coming in and going out of your life impacts you.
For more information:
Director of Advocacy and Community Relations
651-291-1086, ext. 8