48-Cent Raise for Caregivers “Wasn’t a Suggestion” by General Assembly

Says Key Rep. as Rauner Admin. Defies Law;

State Journal-Register, Chicago Tribune on Class Action by SEIU Healthcare Illinois

 

CHICAGO-The 48-cent raise for some 28,000 caregivers in a state program for people with disabilities included in summer’s bipartisan budget agreement “wasn’t a suggestion,” said Rep. Greg Harris, who wrote the law and was quoted in today’s State Journal-Register in a story about a class-action lawsuit filed last week in Cook County to compel the Rauner administration to comply.

 

You can read it here.

 

The Rauner administration is making the claim that it isn’t obligated to pay the state’s poorest workforce its raise because of a collective bargaining agreement. In fact, SEIU Healthcare Illinois agreed to the raise, mooting the administration claim.

 

As SEIU Healthcare Illinois vice president Terri Harkin said in last week’s Chicago Tribune:

“The law is clear: the state is required to implement statutory minimum labor standards — such as minimum wage. … The state is then required to bargain with the union for any increases above the minimum standard by statute. Neither the Labor Act nor the SEIU collective bargaining agreement presents an obstacle to the immediate implementation of the raise required by the statute.”

You can read the Tribune story here.

 

The raise came about with the home care workforce in Illinois in crisis because of low pay that harms consumers because of high turnover and limited choices as they seek to remain in their homes, instead of much-costlier nursing facilities.

 

You can read a copy of the lawsuit here.

 

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