In case you missed it, Personal Assistants and people with disabilities had a HUGE week!
On Wednesday, SEIU Healthcare Executive Board member and Personal Assistant Ginger Grant from Charleston, IL, joined a panel of advocates, caregivers, and people with disabilities to testify in front of the Illinois House Committee on Health Care Availability and Accessibility. Committee chairwoman State Representative Mary Flowers called the emergency hearing after becoming aware of the terrible Overtime Policy that Governor Rauner has imposed on the Home Services Program. After hearing powerful testimony about the suffering this policy is causing, the committee grilled and chastised DHS for their misguided and poorly implemented policy. Stay tuned for next steps out of the Committee, and check out this great press story that was picked up statewide.
Later that day, a larger group of Personal Assistants, people with disabilities, and advocates crashed an event Governor Rauner was attending and confronted him directly about his Overtime Policy. We caught Rauner off guard and forced him to see the faces of the Illinoisans he’s hurting. Our message was amplified through the media that covered our action and we put the Governor on notice, forcing him to slip out a back door. Check out photos from the action here, and then share this awesome video that captures the key moments.
While we were confronting the Governor, the Illinois Senate passed our legislation with a SUPERMAJORITY that would protect our health insurance and training, and guarantee a $15/hour minimum wage for Personal Assistants! This critical bill now heads to the House and we expect them to take it up next week. We will keep you posted on developments there as well, but read our statement about the historic move here.
Finally, on Thursday, over 600 home care workers, child care providers, seniors, people with disabilities, and kids converged on the Illinois Statehouse for a massive lobby day to push for support of our entire Invest in Illinois legislative package. This package includes our bills to get home care workers to $15/hour, in addition to protecting healthcare and training for home care and child care providers, and expanding the Child Care Assistance Program.
While we were making a splash in Springfield, there were also actions happening in communities across the state – like Pekin and Galesburg.
We had a powerful week, and we cannot let up now! On Wednesday, May 18, our brothers and sisters in other unions, community organizations, and social service providers will join at the State Capitol to send Governor Rauner a message 10,000 voices strong: it’s time to stop the attack on working families! You can get more details about this event organized by Illinois Working Together and RSVP here.