Raise cost of living pay for services staff
The New York state budget expires on March 31. The Legislature and governor are now negotiating the “big” issues, including the property tax cap, recreational marijuana, election- and criminal justice reform, and more.
As the leaders discuss spending, it is important not to lose track of the human services staffing crisis.
Over the past 18 months, our ability to attract and retain quality employees for our services has declined precipitously.
Staff turnover ranging from 35 percent to 40 percent annually has gotten materially worse. These trends are jeopardizing the quality and extent of the services we provide the entire county and local communities.
Underfunding human services is also an equity and racial disparity issue. The nonprofit human services workforce is 81 percent female and 46 percent women of color.
Today, over 400 Northern Rivers Family Services staff work in Schenectady County, providing educational, early Head Start, family services, counseling, foster care and mental health services to over 4,000 families, children and youth. We depend on trained staff to support our clients. We can’t replace staff with technology, nor can we raise our prices.
On behalf of the human services sector and our clients, we urge the elected officials to include the statutory-required cost of living adjustment (COLA) for all human services workers in the state budget. Our children, adults and communities depend on these staff.
The writer is CEO of Northern Rivers Family of Services.
Plenty of reasons to re-elect Trump
In response to Dave Edwards’ March 4 letter, I would like to add a few of President Trump’s major accomplishments: tax cut law, VA Accountability Act, Right to Try Law, getting us out of TPP and the Paris Climate Accord, canceling the Iran nuclear deal and adding two Supreme Court justices. Why do I mention these accomplishments?
We live in a time of hypocrisy by the left and the Democrats.
Trump gets criticized for his accomplishments and for not doing anything. I stand by the president and for what he is doing for our country, Keep America great.
I believe the left and Democrats stand for open borders, globalism, sanctuary cities, silencing of our freedom of speech and taking away our Second Amendment. I support Trump because he embraces a secure border, America first, supporting the rule of law and law enforcement, and protecting the Bill of Rights.
The 2020 cast of Democratic hopefuls looks more like a bunch misfits. In reality, it’s a tryout for 2024. Joe Biden might be their only chance, but he might be too moderate for this group. Mr. President, you confidently have my vote for you again in 2020.
Immigration views have changed little
“The immigrant population, is constantly growing and we must either absorb it, or be absorbed by it. We must give them the benefit of our highest ideals, the teaching of our best teachers, or we must expect in the future coming generations to have them teaching us the worst of theirs.”
Interesting, huh? This came from a newspaper article printed Wednesday, March 19, 1919. Just think, 100 years ago and humanity is still much the same as then.
Liberals trying to destroy the country
I can’t believe some people don’t want to put on the birth certificate whether it’s a boy or girl. They want to wait until the children can decide for themselves. Stupid, stupid. I won’t be surprised if the state allows it.
You know the liberals will stop at nothing to get the votes. I hope and pray that some day, the liberals will stop bashing our president.
Maybe, just maybe, some day they will wake up and see that he is doing more good than bad for our country. He’s the only president that is trying to get North Korea to give up its nuclear arsenal. He’s also trying to negotiate with China to take more goods to equalize our trade agreement.
Maybe some day with God’s help, all races, nationalities and religions will start getting along. God bless the president for trying to make America strong again.
He can and will if he can get all of the Republicans and some Democrats to see that he’s right. He isn’t going to let a few certain people destroy our country (Pelosi and Schumer, to mention a couple).
When is Mueller going to stop wasting taxpayers’ money investigating 60 or more people who were with our president? Enough is enough. They are ridiculous. Why don’t they investigate the Democrats?
Follow basics when playing blackjack
I’ve been playing blackjack for over 50 years and enjoy playing at the Rivers casino. The average player there is getting better, but still needs some work. I’m going to list some tips that should be helpful.
1. Obtain a chart that shows how to play every hand using basic strategy.
2. Learn the basic strategy and stick to it.
3. If you are having a bad day, do not rebuy.
4. Do not increase your bet after losing a hand.
If you learn to play your cards properly and manage your money properly, you can have a lot of fun without losing money.
Rivers has the friendliest dealers I have ever experienced. They depend on tips for about two-thirds of their earnings; so when you win, you should tip them.
The rules of the game are about as good as you’ll find at Rivers. Play within your means and have some fun.
Cheating to advance is just human nature
If you look at the two cartoons gracing The Gazette opinion page on March 16, poking fun at the difference between people who follow the proper path to college entry vs. those who scam the system to gain illegal entry, I noted the similarities to our immigration problem.
You could have switched the text and made it about illegal border hopping. Some take the time and trouble to follow the rules; others just get here any way they can.
I think the concept of one population following rules while others do whatever they want points out the way the world turns. It hasn’t changed in thousands of years. The majority of people are decent, law-abiding folk. But there are always some who simply think they are above the rules and do whatever they want.
It cannot be stopped. It’s human nature.