July 2017

 Hundreds of children to march on Governor Rauner’s multi-million dollar home as child care crisis looms

To protest the threat of a massive purge to the Child Care Assistance Program, hundreds of children and child care providers will march on Rauner’s Winnetka estate TUESDAY, July 25th at 11:15 AM.

Hundreds of children and child care providers will march on Governor Rauner’s mansion in Winnetka, Illinois, to protest backdoor cuts to the state’s Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP).

CCAP for working parents is facing a NEW crisis as the Rauner administration presses forward in coming weeks with new provider requirements that appear specifically to target black and Latino caregivers and which could disrupt or terminate care to 38,000 children in the program.

The latest Rauner purge is being conducted under the banner of new federal training requirements that must be completed by Sept. 30th.The administration is requiring these low-income providers to pay for their own training and miss days of work without pay, an impossible hurdle for most. Providers and children face a similar fate as in 2015 when Rauner hastily cut the eligibility requirements that permanently damaged CCAP to the tune of about 40,000 children who lost care.

The march will begin at Hubbard Woods Park in Winnetka at 11:15 AM and will continue towards Governor Rauner’s mansion. Once at his home, children and providers will deliver thousands of postcards demanding that Rauner stop the backdoor cuts. The march will return to Hubbard Woods park where there will be a speak out on Rauner’s austerity measures.

***VISUALS:Crowd of hundreds of children, parents, child care providers and community allies, large banners, eight-foot-tall puppet of Governor Rauner, hundreds of home-made and kid-made signs. Crowd marching, chanting and delivering thousands of postcards.***

What:              Kid March on Governor Rauner’s house to protest backdoor cuts to CCAP.

When:             Tuesday, July 25th, 11:15 AM

Where:            Hubbard Woods Park, Winnetka, Illinois

Who:               Child care providers, working parents, kids, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Chicago Teachers Union, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization

 

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Child Care Providers Speak Out Against Rauner’s Back Door Cuts

Governor Rauner is at it AGAIN! And Child care providers are speaking out and fighting back!

Rauner_childcarecutsonway_backdoorcuts2Earlier this year, Governor Bruce Rauner and DHS introduced mandatory training and monitoring for all Child Care Assistance Program providers —licensed or unlicensed. The mandatory trainings are ridiculous. Rauner’s goal when he introduced the mandatory training was not to make the program better or provide better services for children; it was to create backdoor cuts to the program by pushing providers and parents out of the system.

The demands that Rauner’s administration are placing on child care providers are a threat to us and the children we care for because of their short timelines and absurd time commitments. DHS is demanding that child care workers complete this training my September 30th, entirely unpaid! This is a disrespect to us and working families.

Listen to what Linda and Carrie have to say about Rauner’s back door cuts:

Linda Lomax

 

“Rauner is setting us up to fail! The entire way this training is designed, it’s mean to keep providers from finishing the training- from the ridiculous time commitment to the confusing computer program. Bruce Rauner thinks he’s being sneaky, but we all know what he’s trying to do- cut out CCAP. “

Linda Lomax

Licensed Child Care Provider

Danville, IL

 

 

Carrie Morris Headshot“How can a training ever teach me how to care for my great grandchildren? These classes can’t teach us the real demands of being a child care provider- that’s love, intuition, and experience. I want to break the cycle of poverty for my family, and make sure that my granddaughter can go to school and get a good job, but in order to do that she depends on me to take care of her children. Bruce Rauner’s cuts will keep my family in poverty.”

Carrie Morris

Family Friend and Neighbor Child Care Provider

Chicago, IL

 

We are fighting back against these extreme mandatory training requirements issued by Rauner and his DHS cronies. That is not enough, we need to continue organizing our union sisters and brothers and the parents we serve to stop these backdoor cuts to CCAP!

While we fight Bruce Rauner’s cuts to CCAP, make sure you have signed up to complete your training requirements!

Call the Member Resource Center at 866-933-7347 to sign up for training now!

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Northwestern Hospital Workers Win Big by Holding the Hospital Accountable

Members Ratify Contact with Big Raises

Northwestern Button_sticker_round_My_Contract_Our_Fight_HCII_logoMembers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital have been campaigning for over a year to hold the health system accountable to workers—by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, 15% raises and more accountability to our communities.

Members waged an aggressive campaign that exposed Northwestern’s misplaced priorities while pushing for higher wages and an end to the wage gap between junior and senior employees.

The Contract Action Team collected petitions, marched on the boss, and hosted a rally in a rainstorm, and we won! The contract was ratified by nearly 90% of the bargaining unit and included: new minimum rates starting at $14 an hour by the year 2019, having all current employees making over $15 by 2019 and all senior employees receiving raises and bonuses equal to 15% over the next three years!

Northwestern Button_sticker_round_$15_15percent_HCII_logoMembers knew that Northwestern, which raked in nearly a billion dollars in profits the previous year, could afford to do better by workers and our communities—and by taking action together, they’ve won a contract making the healthcare giant do just that.

This article originally appeared in the our Summer 2017 union-wide newsletter: Voices United (Volume 9, Issue I).

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Northwestern Hospital Workers Win Big by Holding the Hospital Accountable

Members Ratify Contact with Big Raises

Northwestern Button_sticker_round_My_Contract_Our_Fight_HCII_logoMembers at Northwestern Memorial Hospital have been campaigning for over a year to hold the health system accountable to workers—by fighting for a $15 minimum wage, 15% raises and more accountability to our communities.

Members waged an aggressive campaign that exposed Northwestern’s misplaced priorities while pushing for higher wages and an end to the wage gap between junior and senior employees.

The Contract Action Team collected petitions, marched on the boss, and hosted a rally in a rainstorm, and we won! The contract was ratified by nearly 90% of the bargaining unit and included: new minimum rates starting at $14 an hour by the year 2019, having all current employees making over $15 by 2019 and all senior employees receiving raises and bonuses equal to 15% over the next three years!

Northwestern Button_sticker_round_$15_15percent_HCII_logoMembers knew that Northwestern, which raked in nearly a billion dollars in profits the previous year, could afford to do better by workers and our communities—and by taking action together, they’ve won a contract making the healthcare giant do just that.

This article originally appeared in the our Summer 2017 union-wide newsletter: Voices United (Volume 9, Issue I).

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Home Care Aides Win in Illinois State Budget!

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Following the devastating two-year budget impasse, the Illinois General Assembly finally approved a new state budget after voting to override Governor Rauner’s veto.

So much damage has already been done, but we are finally getting our state back on track. Home care aides and seniors have a lot to celebrate in this budget and it’s thanks to the tireless work of our members and allies throughout the impasse that we have these victories today:

  • We protected the Community Care Program from Governor Rauner’s plans to force 36,000 seniors into a new, untested program through a $120 million cut. Rauner’s plan would have replaced home care aides with uber drivers, meal vouchers, and a revolving door of strangers from laundry and housekeeping services. We have more work to do to stop Rauner’s attacks on our seniors for good, but this is great news in our fight to protect critical home care services for the elderly and to protect our jobs.
  • We won raises of at least $.72/hr. effective August 5th, 2017 for ALL ILLINOIS HOME CARE AIDES! This increase impacts all Illinois home care aides in the Community Care Program, no matter where you live or work. Many workers in the City of Chicago just saw a wage increase on July 1st, 2017 due to the City minimum wage increase that just went up to $11/hour. Any increase you received on July 1st, 2017 is a down-payment toward your full $.72 / hour raise. Those who were not impacted by the Chicago minimum wage increase (those who live and work outside of Chicago, or those in Chicago who already earned over the minimum wage), will receive a $.72/hour raise. We also won an increase to $1.77/ hour to protect our health insurance.

We will be sitting down for negotiations with our agencies to hold them accountable and ensure we get our raises, and determine when those raises will appear on our checks. Elections for bargaining team members are underway statewide for each union agency and negotiations will start up in August.

If you have any questions about our raises, please call our Member Resource Center at 866-933-7348.

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Faith Leaders Pray for Gov. Rauner, Leaders to Stand Up to GOP Healthcare Overhaul

 

Call on Elected Officials to Hear the Cries of the People and Commit to a new Illinois Healthcare Covenant

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More photos from the event available via this Facebook link: https://goo.gl/7vMfSN

CHICAGO (July 18, 2017)—Religious leaders from major faith traditions today called on legislators in Congress to put a moral face on their approach to healthcare rather than the damaging efforts currently taken to destroy the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY.) announced his caucus’ intention to fully repeal the ACA effective two years from now.  The plan would also drastically cut Medicaid. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates a full repeal of the ACA will cause 32 million Americans – particularly seniors, children and people with disabilities – to lose health insurance.

The interdenominational prayer service — followed by a prayer procession to the James R. Thompson Center — also called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to speak out against Republican efforts.

“We are called to our pulpits to speak truth to power, to be a voice for the voiceless, to call the wayward back to the straight path,” said Rev. C.J. Hawking, executive director of Arise Chicago and pastor of the Euclid Avenue United Methodist Church, who emceed the event. “The effort in Congress to derail healthcare for millions of Americans is unconscionable. It is immoral. We, as Christians, Muslims, Jews and other faith traditions, will stand in the gap and send up prayers and use our feet to make our voices heard.”

The audience listened intently as Shirley Perez told a heart-wrenching story about her efforts to maintain care for her special needs child.

“When a lot of people think about this healthcare bill, they only think about going to the hospital or getting care for a pre-existing condition. For my daughter it is so much more, because she has a seizure disorder and is developmentally and intellectually disabled. She needs regular medical care, but she also needs long-term support and services. Thanks to Medicaid she has a medical home, she can get the medication and care she needs, and she can live her life how she wants in her own home. The current health care proposal will be detrimental to my daughter, to families, and to this whole country,” she said.

Among the faith leaders giving a prayer were Rabbi Brant Rosen of Tzedek Chicago, Father Thulani Magwaza, associate pastor at St. Sabina Catholic Church, Minister Jeffrey Muhammad of Mosque Maryam and Pastor Catherine Davis of the Church of God in Christ.

The leaders issued an Illinois Healthcare Covenant calling on legislators to “recommit to ensuring a system of care that is based on wellness; to protecting Medicaid … and to putting the immediate needs of our neighbors first, in the truest image of our all-loving Lord.”

At the Thompson Center, faith leaders laid hands on the building while saying prayers as the crowd behind them extended their hands in prayer toward the building.

Instead of seeking to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, we believe that care should be strengthened and expanded to ensure that the most vulnerable in our midst are treated with the dignity and love that our faiths command, they said.

A broad coalition of healthcare, labor and grassroots groups organized the event, including: Trinity United Church of Christ; Southland Ministerial Alliance; St. Sabina Catholic Church; Protect Our Care Illinois; ACLU Illinois; Indivisible 123GO; ARISE Chicago; ATU Local 308; CAPS Inc; Chicago Teachers Union; Chicago Women Taking Action; Rainbow PUSH; Roseland Ceasefire; Chicago Coalition for the Homeless; SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana; Citizen Action/Illinois; Indivisible Illinois; Indivisible Chicago; Healthy Illinois; Friends Who March; Chicago Federation of Labor; Abundant Living; Flesh Becoming Word; Kingdom Crusaders; International Christian Assembly; Lights of Zion; Nehemiah Baptist Church; Joy Fellowship; C.O.G.I.C. Praise Tabernacle Deliverance Church; Victory Christian Assembly; Tzedek Chicago; Greater Roseland Chamber of Commerce; Women’s March Chicago.

Statements issued by religious leaders who participated:

Apostle Carl White Jr., Victory Christian Assembly

“As a man of faith, I am compelled to speak out for the poor, those who are disadvantaged and even those of means who need a voice to challenge the powerful. God has positioned us that each time Congress has tried to kill the Affordable Care Act the voices of the people rose up. I will continue to add my voice wherever there is a need for fairness and justice to prevail. I call on our elected officials to put compassion before profits in their deliberations around healthcare.”

HealthCareCovenant18_ApostleCarlWhiteJr

Rabbi Bryant Rosen, Tzedek Chicago

“Health care is a basic human right and providing health care is a sacred obligation. That is why as a Jew and a person of conscience I cannot remain silent when our government seeks to deny health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans. The pursuit of corporate profit at the expense of human lives is a sacrilege — and we are here to let our lawmakers know that the faith community will not let this stand.”

HealthCareCovenant6_RabbiBrantRosen

Father Michael Pfleger, St. Sabina Church (statement sent by a representative):

“A famous quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. described injustice in health care as the most shocking and inhumane form of inequality. Today, we call on representatives in the U.S. Congress to cease and desist from this shocking and inhumane approach to health care. The approach of the Affordable Care Act is to allow access to healthcare to as many people as possible. The motivation for dismantling the Affordable Care Act is to create obstacles for people to have affordable health care and, quite simply, racist.”

Minister Jeffrey Muhammad, Mosque Maryam (statement sent by a representative):

“In the scriptures, both Bile and Holy Qur’an, Allah (God) speaks of the healing that is in the plants around us that He gives freely. There is healing even in the honey produced by the bee. Yet, representatives in Congress want to pass laws that make it difficult for people to get healthcare, particularly the most vulnerable in our communities – the elderly, children and people who are disabled. This is a sign of leadership that is in error.”

SEIU Healthcare VP Jaquie Algee on the phone with Governor Rauner's office, asking him to join other Governors in speaking out against GOP healthcare attacks

SEIU Healthcare VP Jaquie Algee on the phone with Governor Rauner’s office, asking him to join other Governors in speaking out against GOP healthcare attacks

 

 

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Photos from Illinois Health Care Covenant Event

William McNary, Co-director of Citizen Action/IL, addresses interfaith congregation about protecting healthcare from GOP attacks

William McNary, Co-director of Citizen Action/IL, addresses interfaith congregation about protecting healthcare from GOP attacks

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SEIU Healthcare VP Jaquie Algee on the phone with Governor Rauner's office, asking him to join other Governors in speaking out against GOP healthcare attacks

SEIU Healthcare VP Jaquie Algee on the phone with Governor Rauner’s office, asking him to join other Governors in speaking out against GOP healthcare attacks

HealthCareCovenant4_layingofhand

Participants lay hands on Thompson Center during prayer to urge Governor Rauner to protect the healthcare of millions of Illinois families

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Illinois Capitol

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Governor Rauner: I’m Worth More

We're worth more

 

Governor Rauner,

In the past, you’ve said you support a minimum wage increase, under certain requirements, but hospital workers need you to do more This isn’t a political issue, it’s about Illinois hospital workers being able to survive and support our families.

An increase to livable wages means food in my children’s mouths, a roof over our heads and a chance to finally get ahead — without the struggle and stress of knowing if my paycheck will stretch to the next day.

Governor Rauner: I’m worth $15/hour — and I’ve been in this fight for too long.

Stand with hospital workers today and raise the minimum wage.

Sincerely,

Your Name

 

 

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Stop the Community Reinvestment Program

The Community Reinvestment Program (CRP) seeks to force 36,000 vulnerable Illinois seniors into a precariously designed patchwork of untested and unreliable home care services. The CRP threatens seniors’ autonomy and wellbeing while undermining the immense value of homemaking and personal care providers. There are strong reasons the proposed CRP should not move forward:

  • It has been rejected by the General Assembly. The recently passed bipartisan budget forbids the use of Community Care Program funding for any program created solely by administrative rulemaking – i.e., the CRP.[i]
  • It should not pass JCAR review criteria. From the fact that the General Assembly previously rejected the CRP to the Department on Aging’s attempts to give itself vast amounts of undefined discretion, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) should find numerous flaws in the proposed rulemaking under its standard review criteria.[ii] Failing just one of these criteria subjects the rule to a more rigorous set of criteria that should prohibit the filing of the rule altogether.[iii]
  • Evidence basis is lacking. The Department on Aging has claimed without evidence that the CRP would save taxpayer dollars and benefit seniors. Despite claims that the CRP will cut $120 million from senior home care is just its first year, the Department has avoided specifics on how the cuts would be made while still supporting seniors living independently in their communities. And, contrary to the Department on Aging’s claims, the CRP remains untested. No senior or service provider could reasonably expect a smooth rollout, much less consistently reliable service delivery and internal processes.
  • Massive cuts to services seniors rely on are just wrong. The CRP represents an average cut of 31% in services for seniors. These would be subpar services that could be reduced or ceased at a moment’s notice if a vendor decided to terminate its contract or agreement, if the state did not provide adequate funding, or if the Department arbitrarily and capriciously decided to impose cuts. Stricter eligibility requirements would create a gap in which many seniors will be too “wealthy” for IDOA home care, but too poor to afford privately paid home care services. Many seniors would be placed at risk of institutionalization.

Older Illinoisans deserve good quality home care from trustworthy, tested providers and systems. We urge the Department on Aging to partake in ongoing, meaningful collaboration with all stakeholders to tackle issues resulting from the increasing demand of Community Care Program services. As a first step, IDOA must withdraw its proposed CRP rule.


 

[i] Public Act 100-0021, formerly SB 6

[ii] The House and Senate passed HB 1414 and HB 238, respectively, which essentially prohibit the establishment of the CRP or the separation of services for Medicaid and Medicaid-ineligible seniors.

[iii] By evaluating the proposed rule using criteria in 1 IAC 220.900, there are numerous “substantive” and “proprietary” issues that trigger the need to also evaluate the rule in accordance with 1 IAC 220.950, where the rule fails to pass basic standards.

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