The clock has been ticking for the Department of Labor (DOL) Overtime Rule ever since it moved to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final review! Make sure your Members of Congress take action before the rule is finalized by joining us for a day of calls to their Washington, D.C. offices on April 21, 2016, between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time!  We are expecting the rule to be finalized June or sooner, with a 60 day implementation period, so time is of the essence – we need you to make your voices heard!

HERE’S HOW:

  1. Before the call-in day, find out who your Members of Congress are through our ANCOR Amplifier “Find Your Elected Official” tool – the tool will also list the office number you can call.
  2. On April 21st, call their Washington D.C. offices between 9am and 5pm Eastern Time– be mindful of time zone differences!
    1. D.C. is on Eastern Time – three hours ahead of Pacific time, two hours ahead of Mountain time, and one hour ahead of Central time.
  3. Ask the front desk to be transferred to the labor or health care staffer, stating that you wish to discuss the effect the Department of Labor Overtime Rule will have on providers of services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

IF YOU ARE SENT TO VOICEMAIL – here is an example of a message you can leave, which should take around 40 seconds to say, but feel free to personalize it:

“Hello. My name is [SAY NAME]. My organization [SAY ORGANIZATION] provides services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in [SAY CITY] to help them live in the community. We are very concerned about the Department of Labor’s changes to the overtime rule because our payments come only from Medicaid, we cannot negotiate rates, and will not be able to comply without help from Congress. Please ask [SAY MEMBER OF CONGRESS’ TITLE/NAME] to support more Medicaid funding for providers. You can find more information atwww.disabilitySOS.org [IF TIME REPEAT WEBSITE ONCE MORE SO STAFFER CAN TRANSCRIBE].

IF YOU TALK TO A STAFFER – Use the script we have listed below as an example of the points you should bring to their attention (if you prefer you can also use the voicemail script above).

  1.  [INTRODUCE YOURSELF, MENTION YOU ARE AN ANCOR MEMBER, AND DESCRIBE YOUR SERVICES (E.G. HELPING INDIVIDUALS WITH IDDS DRESS, BATHE, PARTICIPATE IN THE WORKFORCE AND COMMUNITY, ETC., ETC.).]
  2. We support the spirit of the DOL overtime exemption rule – we need to pay our workers more – but we are concerned reduction to our services will be an unintended consequence of the rule.
  3. That is because we are rate takers, not rate setters. Our services are almost entirely funded by Medicaid, whose rates are set by the states and federal government, and providers have no negotiation powers. If labor costs dramatically rise upon implementation of this rule, we are still receiving the same rates to provide services without increase.
  4. The overtime rule would cover our frontline managers, who are essential to keeping our services stable because they oversee direct service professionals, keep their schedules organized and step in when employees cannot. [GIVE EXAMPLES OF FRONTLINE MANAGER NEEDING OVERTIME, SAY HOW MANY HOURS OF THEY OVERTIME USUALLY USE, AND DISCUSS TURNOVER AND VACANCY RATES].
  5. According to a study done by ANCOR with Avalare Health, this rule is expected to cost our industry between $1.05 billion and $1.87 billion every year, for which we have no additional funding source. [GIVE AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MUCH THIS WILL COST YOU SPECIFICALLY IF YOU ARE AWARE.]
  6. This is a very tough situation for providers for which we have no good solutions unless Congress helps us. If we reduce staff hours, we will affect the quality of our services, which can mean life or death for an individual. If we reduce wages, we will lose staff, which will also affect our capacity to serve the individuals who need us. If we cut our programs, individuals will have to turn to institutions for assistance, which is not ideal for their development.
  7. Ultimately, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities will be the ones most harmed.
  8. We want to do the right thing and comply to pay our staff more… but we cannot do this without more Medicaid funding. We hope the Congressman will support legislation which provides this important fix to the rule. Please contact Katherine Berland (kberland@ancor.org) or Doris Parfaite-Claude (dparfaite-claude@ancor.org) for a legislative solution ANCOR has proposed.

Providers: You can also create social media buzz easily and in under a minute for the SOS Campaign by signing up for our Thunderclap –  click here!

Thunderclap is an app that allows you to sign in using your favored social media (Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr – or all three) and give permission in advance for the app to send out a pre-written message at a specific date and time on your behalf. That way a group of people send out the same message simultaneously on a set day- it is like a flash mob on social media. The app can only send the message you give permission for on your behalf. This has been shown to be an effective way of getting lawmakers’ and the community’s action.

Our ThunderClap is set to release at 3pm ET on April 21, 2016 – sign up now to share our message that day!

Thank you for your time and the work you do – together, we can Save Our Services!