On Friday, SEIU Healthcare Illinois submitted a formal complaint to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) and joined a chorus of other advocacy organizations, including the group headed by Diana Rauner, in opposition to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s back-door destruction of the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).
Beginning July 1, Bruce Rauner froze enrollment in the successful program to an estimated 90 percent of applicants and thus far has denied child care to an estimated 5,000 families and 9,000 children.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois, which represents 28,000 state child care workers, argues in its complaint that Bruce Rauner’s administration has abused administrative rules by initiating longstanding damage to the CCAP program without debate or notice and has called for JCAR hearings on the matter.
Ounce of Prevention, the group headed by Diana Rauner, also has sought an investigation into Bruce Rauner’s assault on CCAP.
Earlier this week, the Rauner administration reversed course and announced that it would pay child care workers for work performed in July, as required by law, after singling these workers out for nonpayment.
“The back-door destruction of the successful Child Care Assistance Program already has adversely affected thousands of working parents and their children,” said Brynn Seibert, an SEIU vice president.
“Bruce Rauner achieved this end without a single hearing or any debate. We wholeheartedly agree with Diana Rauner that this administration is in violation of administrative rules with its harmful actions against vulnerable Illinoisans and should answer to this outrageous behavior before the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.”
From the Illinois Times:
by Patrick Yeagle
Chandra Ankoor of Springfield gets three or four hours of sleep a night, seven days a week. She’s not sure how much longer she can keep that up, but she does it for her three young daughters.
On a typical day, Ankoor wakes up early to get her girls ready for school before heading to her first job cleaning houses. She finishes that job just in time to pick her daughters up from school and take them to day care before going to her second job at a restaurant. Ankoor finishes her second job late in the evening, picks her daughters up again, and heads home to sleep, ready to repeat the cycle day in and day out. They live in a one-bedroom duplex with no cable or Internet access.
“Everything I earn goes toward taking care of my children,” Ankoor said. “I have goals; I stay motivated all day. My goal is to finish my schooling so I can earn a good salary and not do these jobs that no one else wants to do.”
Ankoor is one of thousands of parents across Illinois who rely on the Child Care Assistance Program, a state-run program that provides a day care subsidy for families below a certain income level. Changes to the program took effect on July 1, and while Ankoor is grandfathered in, the changes threaten to leave thousands more parents without child care.
Read the full article from the Illinois Times
Reported by Rich Miller in Capitol Fax:
Today, Voices for Illinois Children, along with other early childhood education advocates, submitted a formal complaint and request for an official investigation into the harmful cuts to Illinois’ child care program enacted unilaterally by Governor Rauner and the Illinois Department of Human Services. The complaint and request for an investigation were submitted to the Department of Human Services and the Members of the Joint Committee on Administrative rules, the body responsible for assessing the validity of the rulemaking process.
“The Department of Human Services, under the direction of Governor Rauner, failed to follow procedures required by the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act when they radically changed the child care system in Illinois,” said Emily Miller, Policy and Advocacy Director at Voices for Illinois Children.
On July 1, 2015, Governor Rauner improperly used emergency rulemaking to change the Child Care Assistance Program, or CCAP. The purpose of CCAP is to ensure that low-income, working families have access so safe, quality early learning environments for their children.
As a direct result of the Governor’s actions, 90% of low-income families who apply for CCAP are being denied.
“We hope that once the Governor reflects on the detrimental impact his actions continue to have on our families and communities, he will voluntarily rescind the rule,” concluded Miller. “If the Governor fails to stop the cuts to child care, we request that JCAR complete their investigation, object to the rule, and require the Department of Human to rescind it.”
Children’s Home and Aid, Illinois Action for Children, the Ounce of Prevention Fund, and Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law joined Voices for Illinois Children in filing the complaint and request for investigation.
From the State Journal-Register
by Dean Olsen
Despite the state budget impasse, payments will continue to flow on time to home-based day care providers serving more than 104,000 children throughout Illinois, officials from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration said Wednesday.
But because the ruling doesn’t apply to the 3,000 for-profit and not-for-profit child care centers in the Child Care Assistance Program, the continuing lack of an approved fiscal year 2016 budget likely will mean payments delays for them.
Those centers serve the remaining 75,600 children in the program, or 42 percent. Without a budget solution, they would begin to see payment delays in August for the services they provided this month to children from low-income families.
Friday’s appellate court ruling, upholding a St. Clair County Circuit Court decision, ensured that state government workers will keep collecting their full salaries even though under state law there’s no authority to spend money without a budget.
The Rauner administration hadn’t made it clear until Tuesday whether people who operate home-based day care businesses were covered by the ruling.
SEIU Healthcare, the union that represents the 28,000 home day care providers who serve children in the assistance program, said it was somewhat relieved by the news.
But the union, which was verbally informed by Rauner aides Tuesday, expressed both relief and frustration with the Republican governor.
“Though this is a welcome bit of good news, we remain skeptical of Bruce Rauner’s commitment to helping vulnerable populations in Illinois, including working parents and kids served by the child care program,” said Brynn Seibert, SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president.
Seibert said SEIU, which was among the unions that brought the lawsuit against the state July 2, was confident at the time of Friday’s ruling that home-based day care providers would benefit.
Read the full article from the State Journal-Register
by Anna Bahney
As the Fight for $15, the movement to secure a $15-dollar an hour wage for employees, gains momentum, child care providers are becoming more vocal about working toward the goal.
Calling our child care system broken — because it leaves families unable to afford care and providers unable to support their families — child care providers, parents, members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and other Members of Congress announced a plan that aims to secure affordable and accessible child care for every American family and to strengthen the child care workforce.
In front of the Capitol building, the group announced plans to take their proposals, including calls for $15 and a union for child care workers, to families in cities in red and blue states nationwide.
The demands follow a week of wins for underpaid workers fighting for $15 an hour pay nationwide. Last Wednesday, a Wage Board empaneled by Gov. Cuomo recommended a $15 minimum wage for fast-food workers throughout New York, which would boost pay for 200,000 women and men throughout the state. In California, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and the University of California system announced it would raise pay to $15 an hour for its direct and subcontracted workers. And a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in the District of Columbia was certified for the 2016 ballot. and although it was dead on arrival, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus introduced a bill to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“Families need a reliable and affordable child care system that’s available when they need it,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR). “And importantly, the care should be provided by skilled child care workers who are paid enough to support their families. Providing affordable, quality child care reduces worker turnover and strengthens our economy,” Bonamici added.
Along with Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN), Bonamici is introducing a House resolution recognizing the critical need for a stable and reliable child care system and a full-time living wage for all child care workers. “No one who is caring for and educating our children should have to live in poverty, and no one should be pushed into poverty because of the cost of child care for their kids,” Bonamici said.
“The cost of caring for a child in America keeps rising, while our biggest corporations book bigger and bigger profits,” Rep. Ellison said. “It’s time we pledge no family in the United States faces a future without affordable childcare.”
Read the full article from Forbes
by Brad Palmer and Jennifer Fuller
A union that represents many childcare providers across Illinois says Governor Rauner has reversed course, after initially refusing to pay 28,000 of them for work performed in July.
Robin Moore – who owns Robin’s Nest Learning Center in Carterville – is not part of the SEIU Healthcare Illinois union. But, she says she’s concerned about not getting paid.
Moore employs 43 people. She says her facility can continue operating for about two months without a state budget.
Moore says if the budget impasse goes on for more than two months, she anticipates losing about 40% of the more than 250 children she currently serves.
Read the full article from WSIU
CHICAGO-News is breaking late Tuesday that the Bruce Rauner administration has reversed and will process payments for 28,000 workers in the Child Care Assistance Program for work performed in July.
Folllowing is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President Brynn Seibert in response:
“While this is temporary relief to 28,000 child care providers—many of them women, many of them poor, many of them people of color—it does not answer the question why they were singled out in the first place. And it doesn’t answer the question of why Bruce Rauner is engaged in a back-door campaign of destroying the vastly successful Child Care Assistance Program by freezing enrolment and demanding devastating budget cuts.
“While this is a welcome bit of good news, we remain skeptical of Bruce Rauner’s commitment to helping vulnerable populations in Illinois, including working parents and kids served by the child care program.”
Singles Out Low-Income Workforce, Destabilizes Families Across Illinois as Part of Union-Busting Payback
CHICAGO-Following is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Vice President Brynn Seibert following the breaking news that Bruce Rauner’s administration is refusing payments to 28,000 state child care providers for work performed in July, while processing payments for other state workers.
These workers will begin missing paychecks in mere days.
“It is self-serving cruelty that the Rauner administration is singling out for retribution 28,000 workers—most of them poor, most of them African-American, most of them women—as he seeks to enact his union-busting agenda.
“Rauner already has begun a back-door dismantling of the successful Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which research shows generates economic activity, keeps tax dollars in the state and grows a robust workforce.
“Along with refusing pay to 28,000 workers, CCAP payments are being withheld from some 3,000 child care centers around Illinois that support 30,000 workers, putting their employment in jeopardy as well.
“By denying pay to skilled and trained workers who care for Illinois children, Rauner is ensuring that IN JUST DAYS child care centers will close, working families will be destabilized as they are forced to choose between work and the care for their kids, and children themselves will be placed in harm’s way.
“This disruption is totally avoidable and is part of Rauner’s political vendetta against unions and those workers speaking out about his protection of big corporations, banks and the super-wealthy at all and any cost.”
Despite spending gobs of his own money, Republican slippage continues; Leading pundit says Rauner’s strategy can’t succeed
First it was Republican Terri Bryant, who said after visiting an Addus adult care facility, that “it is incumbent upon those of us in the Legislature to work towards the funding to keep places like this going.”
Then it was Republican Avery Bourne, who said Rauner needed to back off his union-busting measures and his push to take away collective bargaining rights from state workers.
Recently, Republican Michael McAuliffe even signed the “Pledge to Protect” against Rauner’s dangerous cuts to vital services like child care and home healthcare.
And now, Republican Dave Syverson acknowledges that new revenue is needed to solve the budget stalemate and end Rauner’s government shutdown. Syverson stated candidly on Friday: “The temporary tax is going to have to go back on.”
Over the weekend, widely-respected Illinois pundit Rich Miller used his column to slam Rauner’s relentless and bullheaded negotiating strategy of shutting down the government until his personal, non-budgetary political agenda is enacted. Miller reminded Rauner of Senate President Cullerton’s observation that he’s governor of Illinois, not Oklahoma or Kansas—and that his extreme agenda doesn’t fly here.
So, enough with the excuses and the eliminationist fantasies. If the governor wants an agreement, then he has to step away from his far right economic agenda and find some practical solutions to this mess or we will never even get to talking about a budget. Democrats (and a whole lot of Republicans) are simply not going to vote to eviscerate labor unions. Period.
It’s long past time Bruce Rauner abandon his rigid demands and his extreme political agenda—and it’s not just Democrats who are saying so anymore.