May 2011

Workers at Casa Central Nursing Home join SEIU

On March 18th 100 workers at Casa Central Nursing Home in Chicago voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, despite efforts by the home’s management to stop workers from uniting.  (more…)

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More Indiana Help At Home workers join SEIU

Nearly 600 new members at Indiana Help At Home offices united with SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana since December.

  • December 3rd: More than 250 workers at Help At Home offices in Indianapolis and Lafayette
  • February 14th: Nearly 300 workers in Bloomington and Seymour

“We’re already feeling the union difference,” Jennifer  Christian, a Help At Home member in Indianapolis. “The morale among workers has really improved and we got raises that certainly would have been harder to get if we didn’t have a union.”

Members at these Indiana Help At Home offices join members from Merrillville, Valparaiso, South Bend and Michigan City Help At Home offices as new members of SEIU.

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Quality pay for quality work: SEIU members win contract victories

CHC Nursing Home

  • 2.5 year contract: 2%  increase retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011 with another 1.5% after July 1, 2011 and 2.5% after July 1, 2012. (more…)
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Members tell legislators: ‘Stop the Cuts!’

Hundreds of SEIU Healthcare Illinois members rallied in Springfield April 12, sending a message to legislators to stop budget cuts to home care and child care.

With working parents, children and seniors standing with members, the rally was held in conjunction with the launch of an advertising campaign calling on the General Assembly to stop cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program that keeps thousands of parents working. The TV ad tells the story of how a family from Joliet, Ill., would struggle if they lost their child care.

“I don’t know what I would do without child care assistance. I work two jobs, one full-time and another part-time, and go to school to earn a degree so I can provide for my family,” said Autumn McCray, who lives in Harvey with her seven-year-old daughter. “It would cost taxpayers much more if thousands of parents like me– who are trying to improve our families’ lives — have to quit their jobs because they can’t afford child care.”

(more…)

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Illinois hospital, nursing home workers fight Medicaid cuts

Illinois hospital workers are fighting back against proposed state budget cuts to Medicaid payments that threaten jobs, quality of service and safety at all of our community hospitals. The six per cent cuts could mean a loss of millions of dollars to hospital budgets. Medicaid payments amount to nearly half of all funding for community-based hospitals.

“Our hospital services are vital to the residents of our communities,” said Tamiko Harris, an operating room secretary at Mt. Sinai Hospital, which faces a loss of more than eight million dollars if Medicaid is slashed. “These cuts will mean a loss of jobs, less resources for services for our patients and, ultimately, longer waits and more suffering for residents. We can’t allow that to happen.” (more…)

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SEIU Healthcare members fight to protect working families

Members join largest rally ever in Indianapolis

Members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana have kept a constant presence in the State House in Indianapolis on a regular basis fighting back budget cuts to home care and attempts to strip private- and public-sector workers of many union rights.

Bus loads of SEIU Healthcare members joined a crowd of thousands outside the capitol building on March 9 to protest attacks on the middle class by mostly Republican legislators’ anti-worker legislation. It was the largest rally ever in the capital city. (more…)

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Members celebrate victories, layout strategy at regional meetings

At the start of 2011, hundreds of members came together for regional meetings throughout Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Members gave reports on our union’s strength, celebrated our victories and accomplishments and strategized for upcoming campaigns. Members recognized and accepted the challenges ahead of us, such as the “right to work for less” movements hitting Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri and other states that threaten our rights to collective bargaining and state budget cuts that impact our jobs.

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PAs unite to win first-ever paid training

Starting later this year, Illinois Personal Assistants will be able to attend voluntary paid trainings geared towards increasing our skills as caregivers.

PAs won $2 million to be budgeted for Personal Assistant training in our Union contract. PAs are filling out surveys that seek to determine skills PAs want training on, such as:

  • How to get work as a PA & interviewing tips
  • Nutrition and meal planning and preparation
  • GED preparation and computer basics

“We made paid training a bargaining issue. We want to be able to offer the highest level of quality care possible. This victory shows our membership what we can do when we stand together. This is a win for us and our consumers.”

– Gilda Brown
Personal Assistant, Chicago

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Traci goes to Washington: Member lobbyist trains in nation’s capitol

Traci Myers with Illinois Sens. Kirk and Durbin

Traci Myers with Illinois Sens. Kirk and Durbin

Home care aide Traci Meyers has always known how important it is for home care workers to have a voice in politics. She learned even more during her two month training as a SEIU lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve gone from lobbying our legislators in Springfield to now talking to senators and congressmen in Washington,” said Traci, a home care aide with Addus Healthcare. “I’m preparing myself to help other members so we can be a stronger union.”

Traci’s training at SEIU headquarters teamed her up with a mentor and provided training on the legislative process, how to deliver an effective message to legislators and brainstorming on ideas. Traci and other lobbyists also got lots of on-the-job training.

(more…)

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Northwestern Memorial Hospital workers ramp up contract campaign

Members at Northwestern Memorial Hospital are fighting for fair wages and job security in their next contract. Hundreds of workers rallied outside the hospital Feb. 12 calling on management to stop driving down wages by outsourcing jobs, and escalated the effort to a picket on May 12. The hospital hired an outside food service company in a new building on the campus that pays workers significantly less for doing the same work.

“Workers have had a major role in making Northwestern Memorial the gold standard in the Chicagoland area, and we need them to fulfill their duty to provide good employment in the city,” said patient care technician  Sonya Gage. “This lowering of standards hurts the hospital’s reputation as a top-tier hospital and employer, and drives down wages and standards across the industry and the city.” (more…)

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