– President Barack Obama, NFC Month Proclamation 2012
Since 2012, throughout the month of November, we celebrate family caregivers across the nation.
Here in Illinois, thousands of home care workers support their loved ones through the Home Services Program and the Community Care Program, providing love, care, dignity and independence.
We want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank all of our home care members for your selfless dedication as we head into the Thanksgiving holiday.
Caregiving is exhausting and challenging work, especially when we are caring for those in our lives that mean the most to us: our families.
Your work is valuable and you are not alone – our union and the more than 50,000 home care workers united with us stand firmly behind you.
Thank you for all that you do and we hope you and your family have a warm and happy Thanksgiving.
SPRINGFIELD-As evidence mounts that his administration STILL is seeking ways to enact massive cuts and to create a second-class range of services for low-income seniors, a bill to protect the vastly-successful Community Care Program was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk Tuesday.
House Bill 1424, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris in the House and Sen. Daniel Biss in the Senate, would lock in eligibility and service protections for the nearly 40,000 seniors who faced a $120 million cut during the budget impasse.
The Rauner administration continues to propose an untested and unproven patchwork of vouchers and strangers without background checks to replace the caregivers who help keep seniors in their homes instead of much-costlier nursing facilities.
The Rauner scheme was overridden in bipartisan fashion this summer, but some of these moves are being reborn in a controversial task force (from which leading senior advocates such as the AARP were excluded) run by the Rauner Department on Aging that has been meeting in recent months. The task force also is considering proposals to provide lower levels of care to seniors who are not yet covered by Medicaid.
Said Rep. Greg Harris:
“Without the Community Care Program, this could be the last Thanksgiving in their homes for thousands of Illinois seniors. That’s why it is so important that Gov. Rauner abandon his attempt to dismantle this vastly-successful program and sign House Bill 1424, so that seniors who need it receive the same level of care, no matter their Medicaid status.”
Said Sen. Daniel Biss:
“Gov. Rauner’s platform relies on attacking Middle Class and working families and his latest attempts to dismantle the Community Care Program remind us that even seniors aren’t immune from his right-wing ideological agenda. Unlike Gov. Rauner, I believe every Illinoisan deserves to age with dignity and security. That’s why I organized my Senate colleagues against Gov. Rauner’s proposed budget cuts and reductions in care and why I’m urging him to change course and sign HB 1424 today.”
Congratulations to SEIU members at Grand Manor Nursing & Rehab in St. Louis on ratifying their new contract!
The bargaining team (pictured above) fought hard to bring a strong new agreement to coworkers for approval and here’s a few highlights of what we won:
Impressive dedication and leadership exhibited by the bargaining team brought home this victory, along with strong support from coworkers. When we stick together, we win!
As a controversial task force that appears to have been rigged by the Rauner administration meets today jointly in Springfield and Chicago at 1 p.m., major questions have arisen for the future of home healthcare for seniors in Illinois.
The Illinois Department on Aging (IDOA) task force already is under fire for excluding major stakeholders in the Community Care Program (CCP), which saves taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars as it provides services for as many as 100,000 Illinois seniors. Now, as the task force concludes its work, it appears to be incubating some ideas passed down from the failed attempt this summer by Gov. Rauner to cut $120 million from the program, reducing care by a third for almost 40,000 seniors.
The Rauner administration is diverting IDOA funds to two pilot programs in Bloomington and East Moline featuring “flexible” services along the lines of its ill-conceived “Community Reinvestment Program” that was thwarted by the General Assembly this summer as part of the bipartisan budget compromise passed over Gov. Rauner’s veto.
At least one of the pilots is reported to be having difficulty with its funding mechanism, just as it was supposed to begin.
Some of the recommendations to the task force stress “flexibility” and “flexible services” for some seniors in the Community Care Program, but that “flexibility” appears to be masquerading as a means to cut services and keep wages low.
Recommendations under consideration by the task force include tiering benefits for seniors in the Community Care Program who are NOT currently covered by Medicaid, even though this population (almost 40,000 consumers out of as many as 100,000) generally cycle in-and-out of Medicaid eligibility frequently.
Today is the last scheduled meeting of the task force, at which members are supposed to finalize recommendations so IDOA staff can create the report that will be sent to the General Assembly in January.
Is senior care safe?
Our SEIU statewide elected bargaining team at Addus just reached a Tentative Agreement with management for our new raises!
We won on all of our top priorities:
This is a huge victory for home care aides at Addus who have fought for years to win the rate increase in Springfield that made our raises possible. When Addus management tried to reduce our mileage and delay the implementation of our raises, our bargaining team stood strong and said NO WAY! When we stick together in our union, we have real power and this new agreement is testament to that fact.
The next step is for Addus home care aides to vote to ratify the new agreement so our raises can be implemented. Stay tuned for voting instructions.
Thousands of home care aides at Community Care Systems Inc. overwhelmingly voted YES to ratify the new agreement that our union bargaining team reached with management recently.
The new contract includes:
Congratulations to all CCSI home care aides and look for your raise and your back pay on your November 18 paycheck.