September 2016

114th District Candidate LaToya Greenwood “Walks a Day” in the Shoes of a Child Care Provider, Vows to Protect Caregivers from Rauner’s Attacks

EAST ST. LOUIS-Councilwoman LaToya Greenwood  “walked a day in the shoes” of child care provider Tina Williams, who serves families in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) currently under assault by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“As someone who was a young single parent, I know what it’s like to struggle to care for your family. I know how important child care is to my parents,” said Ms. Williams. “The wealthy are getting richer and richer, but Bruce Rauner is cutting from children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. It’s not right.”

Last summer, Rauner unilaterally limited eligibility to CCAP, which helps working families with the growing burden of child care costs, and the program has not recovered.

Councilwoman Greenwood spent the morning learning more about the work of child care providers and the impact of Governor Rauner’s cuts to CCAP. She pledged to support child care and early learning providers and to restore and repair the Child Care Assistance Program from Rauner’s attacks.

“The work that is done by providers like Tina is absolutely vital to our communities,” said Councilwoman Greenwood. “As State Representative, I will fight every day to stand up for the dignity of this work and to protect our families from Bruce Rauner’s attacks.”

Councilwoman Greenwood, candidate for the 114th House District seat vacated by retired Rep. Eddie Lee Jackson, has earned the endorsement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois.


IMG_1126 IMG_1167

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20th House District Candidate Merry Marwig Walks the Talk

marwig walkaday blog postAs Bruce Rauner and allies such as Republican State Rep. Michael McAuliffe continue their brick-by-brick teardown of social services in Illinois, 20th House District candidate Merry Marwig spent a day walking in the shoes of a Norridge home healthcare worker for a day, experiencing firsthand the challenges that home healthcare workers face each and every day.

The insight she gained strengthened Marwig’s understanding of the important role home healthcare plays for tens of thousands of seniors and people with disabilities who face forced institutionalization under Rauner’s policies.

Home healthcare worker Prudenza Kalpedis, who provides daily care for her severely disabled sister, Veronica Dattomo, was impressed both by Marwig’s interest in her work, and her willingness to actually try her hand at it.

“It means so much to have a candidate for office come and take the time to see how the governor’s policies are hurting people like me and my sister, Veronica. Our State Representative Michael McAuliffe doesn’t seem to be concerned and neither does Governor Rauner, and that’s why I’m voting for Merry Marwig this November. There’s too much at stake for caregivers and people with disabilities.”

In contrast, Marwig’s opponent McAuliffe has sat idly by as Rauner illegally imposed rules to cap overtime hours for more than 8,000 people with disabilities and their caregivers. And he has been equally silent about Rauner’s proposed $200 million cuts to the Community Care Program, a move that could force more than 44,000 seniors into costlier institutional care.

Marwig is an outspoken advocate for seniors and has earned the endorsement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

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Chicago Hospital Workers Join the Fight for $15 Movement and Call for Fair Wages at Mt. Sinai’s Level 1 Trauma Center

Pictured from left to right: Marvin Pumphrey dietary; Alice Jones, ER unit secretary (also photo below left); Natalie Guzman, dietary; Chicago Alderman Jason Ervin, 28th Ward (wearing white)

Pictured from left to right: Marvin Pumphrey dietary; Alice Jones, ER unit secretary (also photo below left); Natalie Guzman, dietary; Chicago Alderman Jason Ervin, 28th Ward (wearing white)

Mt. Sinai and Schwab Rehab Hospital Workers Join With Faith Leaders as Part of the National “Moral Day of Action” to Demand an Agenda for Working Families and Communities to Fight for Living Wages and Solutions to End Poverty



(September 12, 2016, Chicago) — Mt. Sinai Hospital and Schwab Rehab workers joined with faith leaders and Chicago Alderman Jason Ervin (28th Ward;) as part of the National “Moral Day of Action” to demand an agenda for working families. (Scroll below to watch videos of the press event).

Mt. Sinai workers held a sign that reads, “Level 1 Trauma Center Pay, for Level 1 Trauma Center Care” to send a message that workers should earn a fair wage for their service and commitment to providing quality patient care. Mt. Sinai Hospital is also the only Level 1 Trauma Center on the West Side of Chicago, but where the healthcare workers earn the lowest wages in the City.

For example, the average hourly wage for CNAs at Level 1 adult trauma centers in the Chicago area varies dramatically. Northwestern Memorial Hospital CNAs average $20.29 an hour, but Mt. Sinai and Schwab workers earn on average below $15 an hour. Raising wages for healthcare workers at Mt. Sinai and Schwab would help workers and their families but also support local businesses where the West Side community needs greater investment and real economic opportunity.

Mt, Sinai Hospital Workers, Natalie Guzman & Alice Jones Speak Out for $15 Minimum Wage

Chicago Alderman Jason Irving Supports Mt Sinai Hospital Workers In Fight for $15

Mt. Sinai’s press event was in conjunction with theHigher Ground Moral Day of Actionwith events organized by faith and clergy leaders in over 25 states across the country. Faith leaders are calling on all elected officials to sign a moral declaration and pledge to fight for a set of values that include economic justice and fair wages for workers, equality in education, affordable healthcare, criminal justice reform, and protecting voting rights.

Pastor Michael Eaddy from the People’s Church of the Harvest Church of God in Christ spoke at the event.

Level 1 Adult Trauma Centers in Chicago Area

Hospital Name CNA/Orderly Average Hourly Wage
ADVOCATE CHRIST HOSPITAL $             16.69

Mt. Sinai Hospital and Schwab Rehab workers’ decision to join the Fight for $15 movement comes on the heels of Northwestern Memorial Hospital workers who announced they were Fighting for $15 in June of this year as the campaign continues to pick up momentum in Chicago.

Left: Alice Jones, an ER unit secretary at Mt. Sinai, joined the Moral Monday National Day of Action at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago on Sept. 12, 2016.

Left: Alice Jones, an ER unit secretary at Mt. Sinai, joined the Moral Monday National Day of Action at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago on Sept. 12, 2016.

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On the Heels of Bruce Rauner’s Job-Killing Veto of Child Care Expansion, 72nd House District Candidate Mike Halpin “Walks A Day” In Shoes of Quad Cities Early Educators

MOLINE- As Bruce Rauner and his Republican allies continue their brick-by-brick teardown of social services in Illinois, 72nd House District candidate Mike Halpin spent a morning “Walking a Day” in the shoes of Moline early childhood educators whose funding for quality care has been decimated by Rauner’s attacks.

“It was great to be able to inform Mike Halpin about how the cuts to child care are affecting our facility and all the parents who need child care,” said Haley Moore, director of the Moline Kids Campus. “It’s getting harder and harder for parents to find affordable child care, which makes it harder for them to work, which makes it even harder for them to afford child care. And now, if you’re a parent in school, you don’t qualify at all. We’ve had to turn parents away.”

Recently, Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 730, which would have expanded affordable child care to tens of thousands of additional families and created thousands of jobs.

SB 730, which passed with large majorities in the General Assembly, would have started to repair the Child Care Assistance Program after Rauner unilaterally cut thousands of working parents out of the program and eliminated child care entirely for parents who are in school or training. Recent figures from the state show that the parents of over 55,000 children lost child care as a result of these draconian cuts, and that thousands of providers lost their jobs.

While visiting the Moline Kids Campus to learn more about the disastrous effects of this veto, Halpin pledged to support child care and early learning providers and to restore and repair the Child Care Assistance Program from Rauner’s attacks.

“The visit to the daycare center really hit home for me as a parent. These families and child care providers are are struggling to make ends meet because politicians in Springfield can’t work together to pass a responsible budget,” said Halpin. “We must do everything we can so parents can work full-time while ensuring their children are in a safe learning environment.”

Halpin, a Rock Island attorney and advocate for veterans, has earned the endorsement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois.



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Top 10 Questions Rauner Didn’t Answer Today

Governor Rauner advertised a live question-and-answer session today on Facebook. Unfortunately, the Governor came prepared with his own questions and ignored the tough ones about the Governor’s failures. Here are the top 10 quesitons Rauner failed to answer today.

1. Every Illinois Governor in past 198 years has passed a budget.  Why won’t you?

Governor Raunewr Fail

2. You identified child care as part of the $800 million in “wasteful spending” you cut. Why is child care a waste?


3. 5,000 parents & small businesses have lost their jobs due to your child care cuts.  Is that pro-business?

job losses

4. Seniors who have worked all their lives & paid taxes are losing services because of your cuts? Don’t they deserve better?


5. You make 27,000 an hour. Why don’t caregivers – who serve kids, people with disabilities, and seniors – deserve $15?

6. Why do kids, seniors, & small businesses suffer, but you got a $750,000 tax cut last year?

Wealthy man kissing money bags

7. Job creation is down by 50% this year.  Doesn’t that show your strategy of holding the budget hostage is a failed one?

newspaper headline_gift to IL jobs leftdown

8. Why won’t you release your full tax returns?


9. Why are you voting for the Donald Trump, when it’s clear that he’s racist and so are his policies?

10. Why did you create the position of chief of staff for your wife, at $100K per year, if IL was in a budget crisis?

First Lady Chief of Staff

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112th District Candidate Katie Stuart Pledges to Protect Home Healthcare for Seniors from Rauner-Kay Cuts

EDWARDSVILLE – Educator Katie Stuart, candidate for the 112th House District, on Tuesday pledged to oppose the $200 million cuts to home healthcare for seniors in the Governor’s proposed budget that is supported by incumbent Rep. Dwight Kay.

KatieStuart(Kay)_Pledge2“My own grandparents are in their 90s and I can’t imagine the impact on our family if they were to lose a daily visit from someone who provides them food and checks on their well-being,” Stuart said to a crowd of seniors convened at the Main Street Community Center by the Illinois Alliance of Retired Americans.

Though details are sketchy, the cuts for some 44,000 seniors would be made up via a patchwork and unproven system of food and dry cleaning vouchers, as well as the possibility of robotic monitoring.

“What the governor is proposing makes no sense,” said Tiffany McMorris, a home healthcare worker from nearby Collinsville. “It looks like he just wants to force seniors into (costlier) nursing homes.”

McMorris quit her job as a postal worker to care for her parents and grandparents, as well as other seniors in the Community Care Program now on Rauner’s chopping block.

McMorris and Stuart said they were disappointed that Kay supported Rauner’s manufactured budget crisis that has damaged the Meals on Wheels program, sought to limit eligibility into home care programs, cut training to home healthcare workers, and delayed payments to workers.

Stuart, a mother of two and math educator at SIU Edwardsville, said that, “When elected, I pledge to work for the senior and disability community to make our services better, which will make our state better.”



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ResCare Illinois Home Care Workers the Newest Members of SEIU HCII!


A big congratulations and welcome to the hundreds of ResCare home care workers who recently became the newest members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois Indiana.

Caregivers across central Illinois joined workers in Oak Park employed at ResCare in voting YES to join together in our union, taking the first step toward negotiating a contract that will improve jobs and client care.

Diana Inman“We are stronger together when we fight to improve our wages, benefits, and the quality of care for those we serve, and now we can work together to raise the bar for all Illinois ResCare workers!” said Diana Inman, a home care worker in Decatur, Illinois, who played a pivotal role in the organizing campaign.

Our newest members join over 50,000 fellow home care workers across the state, and over 700,000 home care workers nationwide united in SEIU.



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Labor Day 2016: Rauner Hostility to Labor Harming All Illinois

raunerflagThis Labor Day, Illinois is facing historic hardship directly because of Bruce Rauner’s hostility to the rights of workers to unite and bargain collectively for better wages, safety and workplace protections. The budget crisis we still face, which has led to credit downgrades, ballooning debt, closed social services agencies and classrooms and suffering for hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans, was manufactured for one partisan political purpose alone: To rob labor of its power.

At no time in recent history has any governor of Illinois engaged in such a revenging and radical course and the results, which anyone can see plainly, have been devastating. Our union, which represents more than 50,000 state healthcare and child care workers, many who live at or near poverty, has gone without a contract since last year. Meanwhile, the system of care in Illinois has been thrown into utter turmoil and disarray, causing panic and confusion for countless working families, seniors and people with disabilities.

Our workers are not alone in their struggle: Rauner is seeking to dismantle or terminate project labor agreements, curtail workmen’s compensation benefits for those killed or injured on the job and wants to weaken the right to bargain collectively. His fellow Republicans, gleeful to benefit from his checkbook politics, are enabling this radical lurch to the bottom in a way that they must know in their hearts will only make matters worse for working people and for all Illinois.

Labor Day is a time to remember the great sacrifices, some written in blood, that men and women made for the most basic dignity. It’s our duty to preserve their legacy and now, in Illinois’ hour of trial, to stand up in solidarity to Bruce Rauner and his enablers.

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