The New York State 2014-2015 Budget is due on April 1st, and one more year will go by when the most dedicated, hard working people in the State will once again be ignored.
As you know, COLA means Cost of Living Adjustment, and as long as inflation, expenses and prices increase, living conditions get worse for those who do not make enough money. They invented the COLA supposedly to help those hardworking men and women.
Who are they? They are those employees who take care of senior citizens’ needs and daily struggles. They are the ones who work in nursing homes, washing and helping the residents, whose own families have not been able to help them.
Who are they? They are those who work in hospitals, putting their own lives at risk in order to take care of the sickest of the sick.
Who are they? They are the ones working in AIDS services, in drug and alcohol rehab programs, in correctional facilities, in adult homes, in services for those with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, in domestic violence and homeless shelters, and in veterans’ programs.
Who are they? They are the ones who really are carrying the load and doing the hard work in the community. But they have been ignored and underappreciated every year when it comes time to pass the budget.
Who are they? They are the ones working in not-for-profit community organizations making the lowest of salaries of all workforces in New York, but everyday get up regardless of the cold, snow, rain, or sunshine, and they are always there taking care of our community’s needs.
You should know that it has been five long years since these magnificent and hard working New Yorkers received their last COLA. Five years! How many of us would continue working in the same job making a miserable salary without a raise in five years? Without the COLA implemented as it should be, they struggle, and while we concentrate on other issues, we keep ignoring them.
To everyone who reads this, I am asking you to contact your State Senator and Member of the Assembly and intervene on behalf of those who might be helping our own families and now they need a little consideration.
By continuing to ignore this segment of the workforce and allowing them and their families to endure this injustice for so many years without giving them what they deserve – a simple Cost of Living Adjustment – it is an ugly thing that we are doing in New York State, and God hates ugly!
It is up to the four men in the room to fix this ugly.
This is Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.