June 2017

Pritzker “Walks A Day” in Shoes of Child Care Worker Who Would Benefit from $15 Wage

Urges Rauner: “Sign the Bill” & Pledges to Protect Child Care in Illinois

CHICAGO-Surrounded by children enrolled in the state’s badly-damaged Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker “walked a day” in the shoes of a low-wage child care provider on Thursday, pledging to support a $15 minimum wage in Illinois and to invest in early childhood development.

Senate Bill 81, the bill to raise the wage by 2022, was transmitted to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday, prompting Pritzker to urge him to, “Sign the bill.”

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Pritzker listened at the Dorothy Sutton Branch Head Start center in the Chatham neighborhood of Chicago. He played games, handed out snacks and was led by veteran provider Tunja Daniels who, even though she’s a master’s degree candidate with 25 years experience, STILL struggles with low wages.

“Today, I joined child care providers in Chicago to highlight the incredible work they do for our state,” Pritzker said. “Child care workers across Illinois help our families thrive, but they are underpaid and facing devastating cuts to programs under Bruce Rauner’s failed leadership. Illinois deserves a governor who will fight for working families by fully funding social service agencies and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. I’ve spent my life fighting for quality child care and early childhood education for all Illinois kids and I won’t stop as governor.”

Daniels said she was grateful for the opportunity to tell her story to Pritzker.

“It’s nice to meet someone who is willing to listen, unlike Gov. Rauner. It is time early childhood education gets the respect it deserves. We sacrifice and we would like to be respected for our dedication to a field we love,” Daniels said.


In 2015, Rauner unilaterally imposed eligibility restrictions on CCAP and currently 50,000 fewer children are enrolled, resulting in massive dislocation for working families around the state and the closure of hundreds of small businesses.

More than 2.3 MILLION Illinoisans, from all industries and corners of the state, would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage to $15.


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Governor Rauner Receives $15 Minimum Wage Bill

Senator Biss & Advocates Urge Him to Sign It Immediately

Chicago, IL – Legislation to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022 was delivered to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk Monday morning. Shortly after, supporters of Senate Bill 81 held a press conference at the Thompson Center to demand Rauner do the right thing for Illinois workers and sign the bill immediately.Greg Kelley, President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, laid out the choice before governor Rauner. He said the governor could choose failed, trickle-down policies or economic prosperity built from the bottom-up and middle-out.


Kelley was flanked by SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff, SEIU Local 73 Trustee Dian Palmer, State Senator Daniel Biss, chief cosponsor of the bill, and a variety of workers and community members who talked about how a $15 minimum wage would benefit them, their communities, local small businesses, and the overall economy.

“$15 is important because it’s where workers start to get out of poverty and it’s also where we cut off the welfare to corporations,” said Balanoff.

Malcolm Stone, a home care worker from Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood and SEIU Healthcare Illinois member, said he’s worried that he’s one unlucky day away from being homeless.  He challenged the governor to try to live a day in his shoes getting by on only $10.50 an hour living in Englewood.


Adriana Alvarez, a McDonald’s worker, single mother, and a member of the Chicago Fight for $15 told the governor the fate of 2.3 million people is in his hands.  She noted how boosting wages would immediately spur economic growth. “Raised wages would go straight back into the economy. I don’t have a savings account,” she said. “What’s a saving account?” she asked.

Marvin Hunter, Pastor of Grace Memorial Baptist Church and the President of the North Lawndale Black Chamber of Commerce, told the governor that signing SB 81 was the moral thing to do.  “We act as if crime creates poverty, but the reality of it is poverty creates crime.”

Senator Biss, said “This is a bill that’s time has come because for decades the rich have been getting richer, and the poor have been getting poorer, and the middle class has been slipping away.”

He highlighted a University of California, Berkeley study that shows Illinois taxpayers subsidize corporations to the tune of $5 billion annually for workers who are forced to rely on food stamps, Medicaid, and other public assistance because of corporations’ decision to pay poverty wages.

“We can’t afford that anymore,” Biss said.  “It’s time for the corporations to carry their weight.”


SB 81 House sponsor, Representative Will Guzzardi, who is Springfield for the legislative special session, said in a statement that Illinois voters are watching. “The governor is on the clock. He has 60 days to decide whose side he’s on: the multi-million-dollar corporate interests, or the millions of Illinoisans who need a raise.”

Members of Action Now, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, One Northside, and Grassroots Collaborative were in attendance at today’s press conference.



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As $15 Bill Hits Gov. Rauner’s Desk: Sen. Biss Joins Workers, Labor and Faith Leaders Calling on Him to Sign Historic SB 81 NOW!

MEDIA ADVISORY: TODAY (Monday), June 26th, 11 a.m., Thompson Center

CHICAGO – As Senate Bill 81 — a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour —  hits Gov. Rauner’s desk, Sen. Daniel Biss will be joined Monday in the Thompson Center Blue Room at 11 a.m. by worker, faith and labor leaders calling on Rauner to make a raise in the wage floor the law of the land. Sen. Biss is a co-sponsor of SB 81.

17.06.26 Rauner Sign 15

The phased-in raise to the minimum wage will IMMEDIATELY boost the Illinois economy, end subsidies to corporations who fail to pay living wages, help make Illinois a wage oasis and deliver more economic security to the 2.3 million Illinois workers who now make under $15 an hour.  More than 40 percent of Illinois workers across all industries, across all age ranges and across all points of Illinois, will benefit from a wage increase, including nearly half of all female and African American workers and more than 60 percent of Latino workers.

SB 81, a bill to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, passed the General Assembly in late May.  It will be officially transmitted by the General Assembly to the Governor for action on Monday.

WHEN: 11 a.m., Monday, June 26th

WHERE: Thompson Center Blue Room (15th Floor), 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago

 WHAT: Press Conference to Urge Gov. Rauner to Sign the $15 Minimum Wage Bill (SB 81) as it officially reaches his desk

 WHO: Senator Daniel Biss (9th District); Greg Kelley, President, SEIU Healthcare Illinois; Tom Balanoff, President, SEIU Local 1; Dian Palmer, Trustee, SEIU Local 73; Malcolm Stone, home care worker; Daphne Bracey, Action Now member and worker; Pastor Marvin Hunter; Adriana Alvarez, McDonalds worker and member of the Fight for $15


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SEIU, Show Your Pride This Sunday

Join us for the Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday!  Details below.


HCII Pride Parade

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Do Your Job, Save Healthcare Protest Draws Lots of Press Coverage

HCII members joined over a dozen organizations to protest Governor Rauner and the IL GOP at a fundraiser in Rosemont last night. We told Rauner to do his job and stand up against the GOP healthcare bill.

We were thrilled to work with such a great group of coalition partners to help pull off this event. Organization that participated included: Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Federation of Labor, Citizen Action Illinois, Friends Who March, Illinois State AFL – CIO, Illinois Working Together, Indivisible 123GO, Indivisible Chicago, Indivisible Illinois, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, The Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th, SEIU Local 73, & UFCW Local 881.

See the press coverage below.

Also, Rachel Maddow’s retweeted Indivisible Chicago’s picture at the protest.


Rauner Skips Republican Fundraiser

NBC 5 Chicago WMAQ – Ward Room Blog – Mary Ann Ahern – June 19, 2017

“Some people will die as a result of [GOP] cutting Medicaid & Governor Rauner not doing his job and passing a budget,” [home healthcare nurse and HCII member] Cynthia Sylvia told Mary Ann Ahern.


Rauner slammed over AHCA silence

Capitol Fax.com – June 19, 2017

* SEIU Healthcare

While the healthcare and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of Illinois citizens remain at great risk due to Republican policies, Governor Rauner and the entire Illinois Republican Congressional Delegation will gather for a fundraiser in Rosemont dubbed “Cocktails with the Congressmen.”

Illinois already is in a state of crisis after more than 700 days without a budget, but the American Health Care Act (AHCA) threatens to take the chaos to a new level, chiefly via a $40 billion cut in federal support to Illinois via Medicaid…

Rauner mouth zipped

Photo via twitter: @MisterJayEm

WBBM-AM (Radio) at June 20th 2017 5:06 AM

WBBM-AM (Radio) – June 20, 2017

Governor Rauner was billed as a special guest at last evening cocktails with the congressman Republican party fundraiser Rosemont, but it turns out he was a no-show.  Rauner planned on being, that is until busloads of protesters unhappy with his position on the Affordable Car Act assembled outside of the event…


After protesters gather, Rauner skips Republican fundraiser

Daily Herald – Kerry Lester – June 19, 2017

“This is another abdication of leadership,” said Julie Sampson, political director of Citizen Action Illinois, which, along with Planned Parenthood, Indivisible Chicago and other groups, brought busloads of protesters to the restaurant. “Health care for a lot of people is at stake in this fight, and the governor has said very little about how he would want the bill to change, what he plans to do if the feds cap and cut Medicaid.”

Protesters lined up along Higgins Road, shouting, “Show me what Democracy looks like!” “Wreck it, Rauner” and “Hey hey, ho ho, Peter Roskam’s got to go!” Signs included “Republicans — unsell your soul” as well as a “Flat Bruce” cutout of Rauner designed to poke fun at the governor’s absence.

Reid McCollum of Hindsale — co-chairman of the Coalition for a Better Illinois 6th, a group working to defeat Roskam — called the congressman’s recent low profile on hot-button issues, including health care reform, “not democratic.”


Crain’s Chicago Business: Fundraiser, protest set for Illinois GOP representatives

“While wealthy contributors can gain access to Rep. Roskam at closed events, his constituents have been unable to meet with him in an open forum for more than eight years,” said Reid McCollum, co-chair of the coalition. “We will remind Roskam and his colleagues that we expect our elected officials to represent their constituents rather than corporate donors, and that we will not stand for their indifference to constituents’ need for affordable health care.”


CBS 2 News at 10PM

WBBM-CHI (CBS) – June 19, 2017

>>Illinois‘ seven congressmen all at a fundraiser in rosemont. They all voted in favor of the gop health care bill to protest obamacare.


Protest at GOP Fundraiser

ABC 7 WLS-TV – June 19, 2017

New at 10, protesters , this protest at a GOP protest the Governor was slated to attend. These protesters calling on Roskam to hold open town hall meetings.


POLITICO Illinois Playbook — RAUNER to call for ‘UNITY’ — CPS’ big borrowing — GREEN BAY vs. BEARS in court

Politico – June 20, 2017

— “After protesters gather, Rauner skips Republican fundraiser,” by Daily Herald’s Kerry Lester: “Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Monday pulled

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Remembering Home Care Worker Amy Zimblemann

Amy ZimblemannWe recently lost a leader in our union from downstate Illinois who will be greatly missed. Amy Zimblemann was a champion for home care workers and seniors, stepping up to get involved no matter what the challenge.

Whenever our union met with Alton area state lawmakers to defend Home Care workers, Amy Zimblemann was there. When it was time to go to Springfield for a lobby day, Amy was on the bus. And Amy was always at the table for union campaign meetings.

Amy passed away suddenly on June 4, 2017, at the age of 34. She had worked for Help at Home Wood River about 9 years.

In early 2017, Amy was recognized at the Metro East Appreciation Dinner for her leadership and dedication to the union. We last saw her recently in Springfield where she participated in Labor Management Committee meetings with her employer.

As we move forward in the many fights we face to protect our home care programs, we can take comfort in knowing that Amy will have our backs and strengthen our resolve to do our best. Your union family will miss you, Amy.


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Member Spotlight: Missouri Home Care Worker & SEIU Leader Sherry Golden

Sherry GoldenSherry Golden is a veteran home care worker currently employed through Addus and residing in St. Louis, MO. Sherry has devoted 14 years to providing high quality care for seniors in the region and says this work is truly her passion.

Mrs. Golden started off caring for her ailing grandmother. When her grandmother passed, she knew she wanted to find a way to continue to give back to the elderly who were struggling to maintain their independence at home.

“Many of the seniors I serve don’t have anyone else around to help them. They end up becoming part of your family and you grow very attached,” explained Mrs. Golden. “Home care is so important, no senior should be forced into a nursing home if they don’t need to be there.”

Sherry fondly recalls how she first got involved in SEIU.

“Our shop steward, Val Gordon, would always call me up to try and get me out to meetings and actions, but I just never made time. Finally, one day she called and I explained I didn’t have a ride to go to the event. Val immediately offered to pick me up and I knew I was out of excuses at that point!”

“The first meeting I attended had a deep impact on me – I just remember feeling like SEIU was a family and that I wanted to be part of it. The rest is history! Now, I’m the one calling people up offering them rides to things!”

Sherry has developed into a member leader who wears many hats. She’s played a leadership role in the local Fight for $15 movement—testifying, speaking out in the media, and spreading the word to more local workers. But she says one of her favorite union activities is getting out in the neighborhoods and canvassing about the upcoming elections and important political issues.

“I love going out and knocking doors because you meet so many different people. I know I educate the people I encounter and usually I even learn from them, it’s a really great feeling. Talking to fellow voters about what’s at stake is an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Sherry Golden is not only a union leader and home care worker, she’s also a wife and mother of two sons ages 22 and 14.

Sherry Golden with her husband and two sons.

Sherry Golden with her husband and two sons.

“I am a very family-oriented person and my two sons continue to make me proud each and every day.”

Sherry’s message to members who have yet to get involved is this: “I understand because that was me too. But I can tell you firsthand that you will not find a more rewarding experience than standing up for your rights and the rights of others. There is power in knowledge that no one can take away from you. As workers, we are the union and it’s up to us to build an even more powerful voice.”

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