FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2015
Contact: Kaitlin DeCero, Kaitlin.firstname.lastname@example.org
National Media: Bartees Cox, email@example.com
Chicago ABC 7: Mayoral Candidate Chuy Garcia Supports Home Care Workers Fighting for $15
Chicago WGN: Mayoral Candidate Chuy Garcia Supports Home Care Workers Fighting for $15
Chicago CBS 2: Chuy Garcia Stands With Home Care Workers, Says Fight For $15 About “Dignity”
FOX 32: Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Signs on In Support of $15 for Home Care Workers
Chicago WBBM-AM: Chuy Garcia Supports Home Care Workers With Their Fight for $15 an Hour
Chicago Home Care Workers Gain Support for $15 and Home Care for All as Movement for Higher Wages in Fastest-Growing Industry Picks up Steam
State Sen. Biss, Delgado, State Reps. Mitchell, Flowers and Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia Join Town Hall Meeting, Pledge Support
(Chicago) – State Senators William Delgado and Daniel Biss, State Representatives Mary Flowers and Christian Mitchell, and Chicago mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia vowed to support Illinois home care workers in their Fight for $15 and home care services for all who need them during a town hall meeting Saturday, February 28 at SEIU Healthcare Illinois.
The town hall in Chicago was one of 20 taking place across the country in late February and early March at which home care workers are meeting with elected officials, academics, community leaders and members of the clergy to build support for their growing movement for higher pay and expanded home care services.
Governor Rauner’s proposed budget cuts would decimate the home care programs that Illinois seniors and people with disabilities count on to live independently at home. Home care workers, home care recipients, lawmakers, and allies came together to demand an investment in home care, and highlight the benefits for our communities, our families, and our economy.
The meeting comes as a new report by the National Employment Law Project shows that if home care industry pay was lifted to $15, the average worker would see 50% more in his or her hourly wage rate. The report said that paying home care workers $15 would increase worker’s yearly earnings by more than $8,000, generating between $3.9 billion and $6.6 billion in economic activity.
“I work hard to care for the seniors I serve, but am not paid enough to provide basic needs for myself,” said Tracy Daily, a home care worker serving seniors in the south suburbs of Chicago who is paid $10.15 per hour after 5 years on the job. “I’ve slept on an air mattress for the last 8 years because that’s how long it’s taken me to save up enough to buy a bed. $15 an hour would change my life, and it would also be good for Illinois’ economy because we’d have more money to spend here, lifting up our communities.”
At the town hall meeting, home care workers held signs echoing calls for $15 an hour, and chanted “What Do We Need? $15. When Do We Need it? Now!”
Across the country, some 2 million home care workers provide daily support services like bathing, toileting, dressing, and preparing meals for older Americans and people with disabilities.
Despite doing the work that allows seniors and people with disabilities to live with dignity, home care is the lowest-paid job in the country. The median wage is just $9.57 per hour. For someone working full-time, that’s $383 a week before taxes, or $1,531 a month, barely enough to rent a one bedroom apartment in many parts of the country, let alone pay for utilities, food, gas, and child care expenses. But even these figures are high, since they don’t account for the unpredictable and part-time hours that reduce home care wages even further. The result is median annual earnings of just $17,000 a year.
Home care plays a crucial role in the nation’s economic future. It is far from the only low-paying sector of the American economy, but its role is significant because it is one of the top employers of women and because it is projected to continue growing. Home care is the fastest-growing job in the country.
“If we don’t invest in the home care workforce now, we won’t be able to meet the growing demand for services in the future,” said Katie Jordan with the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. “Higher wages for Illinois home care workers would stabilize the industry and reduce turnover, so seniors and people with disabilities don’t have a revolving door of caregivers.”
“We’re going to keep fighting until we get $15 and make sure everyone who needs home care has access to those services,” said Lanette Newman, a Chicago home care worker. “With support for our movement growing, I know we will win.”
The Fight For $15 started in New York City in November 2012, with 200 fast-food workers walking off their jobs demanding $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation. It has since spread to more than 190 cities in every region of the country. And it has spread to beyond fast food, with home care, airport and retail workers across the country demanding $15 and a union. Since home care workers in a handful of cities first joined the Fight for $15 in September, their campaign, which includes both union and nonunion workers, has spread to 20 cities in every region of the country.
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilhcfightfor15
Follow us on Twitter: @IL_homecareff15
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MEDIA ADVISORY FOR: February 27, 2015
Contact: Kaitlin DeCero, Kaitlin.firstname.lastname@example.org
National Media: Bartees Cox, email@example.com
Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, State Legislators to Join Chicago Home Care Workers in Call for $15 and Home Care Services for All
Chicago Town Hall Meeting One of 20 Taking Place Across the Country as Home Care Fight for $15 Spreads
(Chicago) – Home care workers are expected to pick up key support for their Fight for $15 and home care services for all who need them from Illinois elected officials at a town hall meeting Saturday, February 28, at SEIU Healthcare Illinois.
Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, State Senators Daniel Biss and William Delgado, and State Representatives Mary Flowers and Christian Mitchell, representatives from Access Living, the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, academics, and home care worker leaders from across Illinois will attend the town hall meeting, which comes as a report from the National Employment Law Project shows paying home care workers $15 would generate between $3.9 billion and $6.6 billion in new economic activity.
WHO: Illinois home care workers, Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, State Senators Daniel Biss and William Delgado, State Representatives Mary Flowers and Christian Mitchell, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana Assistant Professor Marc Doussard, Access Living, the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, seniors, people with disabilities
WHAT: Home care workers, seniors, people with disabilities, academics, and lawmakers call for $15 an hour and home care services for all who need them during town hall meeting
WHERE: SEIU Healthcare Illinois
2229 S. Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60608
WHEN: Saturday, February 28 at 10:30 a.m.
WHY: Governor Rauner’s proposed budget cuts would decimate the home care programs that Illinois seniors and people with disabilities count on to live independently at home. Home care workers, home care recipients, lawmakers, and allies are coming together to demand an investment in home care, and highlight the benefits for our communities, our families, and our economy. Town hall attendees will call for $15 an hour for all home care workers, and access to services for Illinoisans who need them.
Recently released reports from the National Employment Law Project (NELP) and the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), highlight the impact that poverty wages have on home care workers, consumers, and the general economy. Research points to the same conclusion that Illinois stakeholders have: now is the time for investment in home care, not drastic cuts.
America’s elderly population is growing at record levels and one million new home care workers will be needed by 2022 to meet demand. Raising home care wages will stabilize the industry, and is an essential step forward if our nation is going to meet the long term needs of the workforce and our aging population.
VISUALS: Over sized Fight for $15 pledge cards lawmakers will sign on to in support, graphs and pie-charts with home care facts, Fight for $15 signs
***Photos, individual interviews, and video clips available upon request post-event, email Kaitlin.firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ilhcfightfor15
Follow us on Twitter: @IL_homecareff15
Check out our Instagram: @ILhomecareff15
You Must Report Coverage or Lack of Coverage on Your Federal Tax Return.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires that we tell you whether you had health insurance from our plans in 2015, and what months you had coverage. 2015 marks the first tax year you will receive this report, but you will get one each year from now on. You must report the information on the enclosed 1095 form on your 2015 federal income tax return (filed by April 18, 2016). You may owe a penalty if you did not have minimum essential coverage for yourself and your dependents last year, and do not qualify for exemptions from the penalty.
You may be exempt from these penalties if in 2015 you experienced the following, which include, but are not limited to:
• Your 2015 household income is below the federal income tax return filing threshold
• You had only a short coverage gap
• You were evicted or were facing eviction or foreclosure
• You received a shut-off notice from a utility company
• You experienced domestic violence
• You experienced unexpected increases in necessary expense due to caring for an ill, disabled, or aging family member
See Healthcare.gov for more information on these penalties and exceptions—consult your tax preparer for further information.
If you think you may qualify for an exemption from a potential tax penalty for not having minimum essential coverage in 2015, or you would like help obtaining alternative coverage or tips to avoid the penalty for 2016, please contact our Certified Application Counselor at the SEIU Benefits Center at:
Q. What is the Form 1095-B and why did I receive it?
A. The Form 1095-B shows what months you were covered by health insurance from us in 2015 (see Box 23).
Q. What should I do with the Form 1095-B?
A. Give it to your tax preparer, or use it to report your health insurance coverage on your 2015 federal income tax return (filed by April 18, 2016). Keep the form with your other tax records. You do not need to include a copy of Form 1095-B with your tax returns.
Q. What should I do if I think the form is incorrect or I don’t understand it?
A. Please contact us here at the SEIU Fund office at 773-385-9300 for any questions you have about this form. Please be advised that we cannot provide you with tax advice; seek a qualified professional to answer your tax questions. If we made a mistake reporting your coverage for 2015, we will file an amended form with the IRS and a new Form 1095-B will be mailed to you as soon as possible.
*Note: You will also receive Form 1095-C from your Employer stating whether or not they offered health insurance to you. Form 1095-C looks very similar to form 1095-B. You should keep a copy of both forms for your records.
Why did I receive a 1099 for my health coverage?
Because home child care providers are considered self-employed under the tax laws you receive Form 1099 s instead of W-2s, like wage workers. Home child care providers don’t pay any monthly premium for healthcare coverage, like most wage workers pay. Because of our contract with the State, the State pays the premiums for every child care provider who is enrolled in the health plan directly to the SEIU Health Fund so you can have health coverage.
Is the 1099 amount considered taxable income?
Yes. Although you did not receive any additional income, the value of your health plan is counted as income under federal tax laws. Keep in mind that under federal tax law, there may be deductions and credits you can take to reduce the taxable amount. Please consult a tax professional.
I haven’t received my 1099 form, and I had the Union health plan in 2014.
If you haven’t already received your 1099 form, you should contact the SEIU Health Fund at (773) 385-9300. We may not have an updated address on file for you. It is important to update your address with the Health Fund every time it changes. The Fund will send you a replacement 1099 form at your request.
I just received my 1099. What if I filed my taxes already?
If you filed your tax return without the 1099 for your health insurance, you will have to amend your tax return. Please consult a tax professional.
I stopped working as a home child care provider, and did not have health coverage in 2014.
Contact the SEIU Health Fund at (773) 385-9300. A Health Fund Representative will confirm your eligibility and whether you used the health coverage in 2014. If we confirm you lost eligibility and did not use the health coverage, the Health Fund will send you a corrected 1099. If you used your health insurance coverage, you will have to file the 1099.
How long does it take to receive a corrected 1099 tax form?
You will receive a corrected 1099 form within 7-10 days of speaking with a Health Fund Representative.
If you have additional questions, please contact SEIU Health Fund Office at (773) 385-9300 or 877-734-8543.
For Immediate Release: February 24th, 2015
Contact: Catherine Murrell (312) 523-3882, Catherine.Murrell@seiuhcil.org
James Muhammad, (773) 908-1825, James.Muhammad@seiuhcil.org
SEIU Healthcare Illinois Issues Statement:
Working Families Rally Behind Jesus “Chuy” Garcia’s Progressive Agenda in Stunning Comeback Election to Force Runoff with Mayor Emanuel!
Chicago’s Voters Shun Mayor Emanuel’s Corporate Agenda that Benefits the Richest 1%
(CHICAGO) – Working families throughout Chicago were ecstatic and celebrated the stunning come-from-behind success from longtime progressive champion Jesus “Chuy” Garcia to force a runoff against Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
In the closing weeks of the election, Chuy Garcia’s progressive vision galvanized working families and offered voters a true alternative to Emanuel who suffered an embarrassing setback tonight.
Voters also sent a strong message in aldermanic races, with the large number headed into runoff signaling a disgust with politics as usual—in favor of elected officials committed to the needs of working families.
In addition to the mayoral and aldermanic contests, voters overwhelmingly supported a referendum for an elected school board which Emanuel controls. Emanuel stacked the school board with his allies who enacted his policies to weaken public education, press his charter school agenda, and who rubber-stamped Emanuel’s plan to close 53 neighborhood schools that serve communities of color.
April Verrett, Executive Vice-President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, released the following statement:
“We celebrate the power of grassroots organizing and the stunning success of mobilizing working families to get out and vote and to take charge of our collective futures in Chicago!
“Tonight’s election numbers reveal one clear result: Chicago’s voters shunned Mayor Emanuel and soundly rejected his corporate agenda that benefits the richest 1%.
“Despite his over $30 million campaign war chest, and the backing of the city’s wealthy special interests, Mayor Emanuel couldn’t buy his re-election tonight. He will now have to face the voters of Chicago against Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, a longtime progressive champion for working families whose leadership stretches back decades to when Garcia was a key ally to Mayor Harold Washington.
“Let’s not forgot what happened in this election. When Karen Lewis was forced to give up her run for Mayor for health reasons, the media and political establishment declared the race over. But Chuy Garcia’s come-from-behind victory tonight to force a runoff with Mayor Emanuel must go down in the history books.
“Chuy Garcia fought to ensure that Chicago’s mayoral contest was an election — not a coronation. And because of Chuy’s tenacity, leadership, and grit, Chicago’s working families now have a real alternative to Mayor Emanuel’s agenda. We thank Chuy Garcia for making sure that the issues and the voices of working families were heard in this election.
“Mayor Emanuel’s attack ads and misleading campaign commercials simply couldn’t change the reality that voters see through Emanuel’s smoke and mirrors and understand the harm inflicted upon our communities by his failed leadership.
“Chicago’s voters rejected the cynicism and ideology shared by Rahm Emanuel shares and his buddy Governor Bruce Rauner—characterized by a reliance upon trickle-down economics and the belief that government should only serve the rich and the powerful.
“Instead, working families embraced a new politics and supported an agenda that empowers our communities and provides real opportunity, prosperity, and fairness to everyone in Chicago – not just the wealthy few.
“The desire for real, meaningful change—and for elected leadership that puts the needs of working families first—was clear not just in the mayoral race, but also in the historic number of aldermanic races heading into runoff.
“We must now finish the job and organize our communities to elect Jesus ‘Chuy’ Garcia the next Mayor of Chicago, support progressive candidates in the City Council, make an elected school board a reality and enact a bold agenda that invests in our communities and unifies our great city once more.”
A delegation of skilled home health nurses from MCC Healthcare Services and Health Force united last week to demand that MCC management respect the bargaining process. Nurses marched into MCC headquarters and delivered a letter to owner, Jose Cortez, calling him out for canceling four bargaining sessions.
Nurses say the owner’s response only strengthened their resolve, and they will continue to stand together to make sure nurses at both MCC and Health Force win the best first contracts possible.
Rauner’s FY ’16 Budget Reflects His Priorities to Protect Wealthy Interests Instead of Advocating for Fair and Effective Revenue Solutions to Support the State’s Most Vulnerable Families
Contact: Scott Vogel, email@example.com or James Muhammad, James.Muhammad@seiuhcil.org
(CHICAGO) – Working families of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana (HCII), a union that fights for and represents over 92,000 workers in home care, nursing homes, hospitals as well as child care providers, responded to Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed fiscal year 2016 budget.
Gov. Rauner’s budget proposals included severe cuts to vital services and program: an estimated $1.5 billion in Medicaid assistance that supports low-income families, children, and seniors; $170 million from the Department on Aging, forcing people into more expensive nursing homes; $400 million from the Illinois Department of Human Services that aids the state’s most vulnerable individuals. While Gov. Rauner also stated he wants to fix the Child Care Assistance Program’s funding crisis, the reality is that he wants to end access to quality affordable child care for tens of thousands of children and families.
Faith Arnold, a home-based child care provider for over 15 -years, and who serves on the Executive Board of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization:
“Governor Rauner’s proposed budget can be summed up very simply – Bruce Rauner believes in the survival of the richest.
“No matter who you are, and what you do, honestly, who would want to live in Gov. Rauner’s version of Illinois? Gov. Rauner’s budget seeks to fundamentally alter our state’s character. Every single family in every single community in Illinois will unnecessarily suffer because of Rauner’s failed leadership and misguided priorities that favor the rich.
“Gov. Rauner’s proposal to slash funding for human services, home care for seniors, hospitals, child care assistance, foster care, nursing homes, job training programs for youth and a host of other vital services are cruel, irresponsible, and hurtful to low-income families who need help the most.
“We are simply not going to accept this budget lying down. We will fight back against Gov. Rauner’s extreme and harsh economic agenda and all of the wealthy and special interests that his budget represents. Illinois is our home and we intend to defend our communities and our families against an attack on our democracy by wealthy specialty interests.
“This proposed budget reveals Gov. Rauner’s values and priorities as a Governor who wants to balance the state’s budget on the backs of the working families. But there is a better, more balanced and sustainable path that we urge Gov. Rauner to pursue.
“Illinois can, and must, solve our state’s financial difficulties by enacting responsible, fair and effective revenue solutions that include closing corporate loopholes and creating an equitable system that is adequate to fund vital services for working families, low-income children, seniors, single moms, adults with disabilities, and low-wage workers. Such common sense solutions would not only resolve Illinois’ budget crisis but would also raise new revenue responsibly and ask the rich to finally pay their fair share in taxes.
“We call upon Gov. Rauner to work constructively with the state legislature and all vested partners to resolve our state’s fiscal crisis with a focus on protecting our state’s most vulnerable families and fighting for real revenue solutions that brings Illinois back to fiscal health.”
2015 WILLIAM A. LEE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIPS
The Chicago Federation of Labor will award 10 William A. Lee Memorial Scholarships, valued at $2,000 each, to five winners of the Academic Competition and five winners of the Random Drawing. The funds may be used at any accredited college or university in the United States.
Completed applications must be received by the Chicago Federation of Labor by Monday, March 2, 2015. The Chicago Federation of Labor is located at 130 E. Randolph Street, Suite 2600, Chicago, IL 60601. Applications may be dropped off at the office Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Mailed applications must be postmarked by Saturday, February 28, 2015.
UNION PLUS SCHOLARSHIP INFORMATION
The Union Plus program offers a variety of scholarships to union families. Click here for more information.
Faith Leaders Call for “Real Solutions” Such as an Elected School Board, Creating Good Jobs, and Ending Mass Incarceration with a Bold Restorative Justice Plan
(Sunday, Feb. 15th, 2015, Chicago) –The “Souls to the Polls” coalition of faith leaders and African-American ministers across Chicago held a press event right outside the Chicago Board of Elections just before church congregants cast their votes in the city’s election for mayor and aldermen. (See the launch of the “Souls to the Polls” early voting drive on Jan. 28th).
Chicago FOX 32: Faith Leaders Hold “Souls to the Polls” To Drive Early Voting
“Today more than 100 churches around the city of Chicago have joined together for our ‘Souls to the Polls’ early voting Initiative. After 50 years from the passage of the Voting Rights Act it has never been more important to vote on issues that affect the African-American families and communities of color,” Rev. Curtiss DeYoung. “While Souls to the Polls does not endorse candidates, we know it is vital that our churches and communities vote and make our voices heard on the key issues facing our neighborhoods. If we do not vote, our neighborhoods will continue to be left behind.
Rev. Curtiss DeYoung, Rev. Marvin Hunter, Father Larry Dowling, and Rev. Chris Harris were among the faith leaders who organized the event.
Pastor Chris Harris Speaks at Souls to the Polls Event: “We Have a Moral Obligation to Exercise Our Right to Vote”
The “Souls to the Polls” effort does not endorse any of the Chicago mayoral candidates, but faith leaders want African-American voters and working families to seize the opportunity to vote early in this year’s municipal election. Faith leaders say that the only way to guarantee that black communities and concerns are addressed is if African-Americans get out to the polls and vote. Early voting lasts until Saturday, February 21st.
Early voting in the black community has never been more important with so many vital issues and crises facing the future of Chicago, such as the urgency to create good jobs with living wages in all neighborhoods; guarantee quality education for all children; expand affordable child care and early learning; the choice of an elected school board that’s accountable to the community; reducing gun violence; lack of affordable housing; ending mass incarceration for people of color; and embracing a comprehensive restorative justice plan for those with criminal records. Faith leaders say that none of these systemic issues will be addressed if communities of color and working people don’t show up at the polls and let their voices be heard.
Churches participating in the“Souls to the Polls” early voting drive include:
Old St Pats Catholic Church
First Baptist Congregational Church
New Landmark Missionary Baptist Church
Metropolitan Baptist Church
Greater Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church
Way of Life Church International
St Agatha Catholic Church
Kingdom Baptist Church
St Martin de Porres Catholic Church
Metropolitan Community Church
Liberty Baptist Church
Urban Village Church Hyde Park Woodlawn
Pullman Presbyterian Church
Greater Institutional Church
Urban Village Church River North
Humboldt Park UMC
Kimball Avenue Church
Urban Village Church Wicker Park
Second Unitarian Church
Urban Village Church Andersonville
Church of the Good Shepherd
While attention has increasingly focused on the statewide child care crisis—that threatens to deprive low-income working parents across Illinois of affordable child care—the Bright Future Chicago Coalition just unveiled a new report detailing the many ways that Chicago’s early education and early care system fails parents and children—especially those families with the greatest need for those services.
The report, titled “Parents on the Edge: How Chicago’s Early Care and Education System Fails Families,” combines an analysis of enrollment trends in recent years with data and real-life experiences reported in surveys of hundreds of Chicago parents.
The report’s findings directly contradict recent claims made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in both his official capacity as Mayor and in campaign ads ahead of the late February ballot. While the Mayor has repeatedly claimed that he has expanded access to Pre-Kindergarten, both the official enrollment numbers and the experiences of the surveyed parents tell a very different story. As the report details, enrollment has actually declined since the Mayor first took office, and policies he has put in place have erected additional barriers for low-income parents seeking access to early education programs for their children.