December 2017

BREAKING: Rauner’s veto of HB 1424 ruins holiday season for thousands of seniors

For Immediate Release

Friday, December 29, 2017

Contact: james.muhammad@seiuhcil.org

The following statement was released by Terri Harkin, Director, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Home Care Division and the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the veto of House Bill 1424 by Gov. Bruce Rauner:

“With today’s veto of House Bill 1424, Gov. Rauner has once again demonstrated his complete lack of empathy, compassion and concern for some of the most vulnerable in our communities. His veto of the bill continues the path of destruction to human services for children, seniors and people with disabilities launched when he first took office.

“HB 1424 protected the 80,000 seniors in the Community Care Program from massive cuts, reductions in care, and a full-scale dismantling of the program by the governor. Instead of a successful program that has existed for years, the governor has proposed herding this group of seniors into an unproven and untested patchwork system that included subjecting seniors to Uber vouchers, food coupons and maid services.

“Even more revealing of the governor’s contempt is his choice to veto the bill during the holiday season when citizens are celebrating and counting their blessing over the year. We, along with our allies who fight to protect seniors and the legislators who passed HB 1424, hoped that Rauner would see the light after the outcry from seniors over the proposed changes to the Community Care Program.

“Unfortunately, Rauner is hellbent on moving an agenda that has done nothing but proven his failure as a leader.”

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BREAKING: With Roskam, Rauner Support, GOP Tax Overhaul a Shameful Prong in Full-On Attack on Working Families

RaunerRoskamFollowing is the statement of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley following today’s passage of the Republican tax bill.

“While the Republican tax overhaul is a terrible deal for Illinois and will enhance income and wealth inequality, it is merely another shameful prong in a full-on attack on working families in Springfield and in Washington.

“Rep. Peter Roskam deserves special mention for his role in authoring and promoting the bill. He slandered anyone who pointed out the truth of this tax scam as caught in a “cul-de-sac of envy.” This is despite the indisputable fact that benefits of the bill go heavily toward foreign investors, greedy corporations and people like Bruce Rauner, who already are prospering in a rigged economy.

“While other Republican governors spoke out against the fundamental unfairness of the bill, Gov. Rauner, meanwhile, retained his characteristic silence. The man with multiple mansions who already has proposed massive cuts to social services will now have $1.6 TRILLION added to the federal deficit. This will provide him with even more grist to justify cutting services that help seniors, children, people with disabilities and the economic security of working families.

“The good news is that, in increasing numbers, Illinoisans are seeing through the smokescreens of people like Rep. Roskam and Gov. Rauner, who continue their full-on attack on working families. And, come next year, we will have a remedy: To vote them out of office.”

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Top 10 Rauner “Accomplishments” in 2017

Bruce Rauner put a 2017 “Top 10” list of accomplishments on his campaign website. It is nonsense.

Here’s  the REAL list of Rauner’s “accomplishments.”

These 10 are not the only terrible things Bruce Rauner “accomplished” this past year.  Check out this article from Capitol Fax, which includes many more.

Rauner touts his top 10 accomplishments

 

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Over 99% of Addus Home Care Aides Vote YES to Approve New Contract

We did it!

We are proud to announce that over 99% of Addus Illinois home care aides voted YES to approve our new agreement!

Last week, Addus home care aides received our new raises and our retro pay back to August 1, 2017.

This was a huge victory that SEIU home care aides have fought years to achieve by taking action in Springfield, in our shops, and in our communities.

Here’s a recap of what we won:

  • $.72/hour increase for all Addus workers, with retro pay to Aug 1st (Based on wages earned on 6/30/17).
  • Increase to $1.77 for our Health Fund to protect our health insurance.
  • Paid sick time for all workers covered by the Cook County Paid Sick Time ordinance.
  • Protected our mileage from any reductions.

We have a lot to celebrate but there’s more work to do in 2018! We are already looking ahead to winning another rate increase, paid sick time statewide, and protecting the Community Care Program from Governor Rauner’s attacks.

We want to wish you a very happy holiday season and we look forward to winning more with you next year. When we’re united in our union, nothing can stop us!

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Issues with Help at Home Raises and Retro Pay

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Thanks to our hard work in Springfield and at the bargaining table, our union won raises and other improvements for HAH workers!

We won a raise of $.73/ hour retro to August 1st (based on the wage we earned on 6/30/17).

Help at Home management agreed to put the raise and retro on our checks Friday, December 15, but we have heard many reports of workers who did not receive their full raise or retro, or only got part of it. This is very disappointing, and our union contacted top management at Help at Home to demand this be fixed immediately. 

Help at Home management indicated they are aware of the problem and are working to resolve it ASAP. We demanded the company keep workers and branch offices informed of the issue and progress on fixing it. 

Every worker deserves the full raise and retro we fought for and won.

For those who did not receive their full raise and/or retro check, we encourage you to contact our Member Resource Center at 866-933-7348 to share the specific details on how much of a raise you got and what your previous hourly rate was so we can ensure everyone receives the full raise and retro pay they are owed. 

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Day 14 of Christian Care Nursing Home Strike: Workers Tell Their Stories of Fighting for a Fair Contract

Day 14 of Christian Care Nursing Home strike, Thursday, Dec. 14th.

Day 14 of Christian Care Nursing Home strike, Thursday, Dec. 14th.

Watch video profiles of workers below!

(December 14th, 2017, Ferguson, MO) — On the 14th day of our unfair labor practice strike at Christian Care Nursing Home, workers continued to rally in the cold and chant, “one day longer, one day stronger.” The strike will begin its third week demonstrated the grit, dedication and solidarity of the nursing home workers as they continue to fight for a fair contract and to be treated with dignity and respect.

Brenda Davis, Restorative Aide & Steward: “We are union members. Respect our union!”

LeShay: “We work hard and deserve respect and dignity. We deserve to be treated equally.”

Inga from Housekeeping Dept: “Management doesn’t care about me”

Sharon Thompson from Laundry: “How can you care for your family on $9 an our?”

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Day 13 of Christian Care Nursing Home Strike: Profiling Members’ Voices

IMG_3294Scroll below to watch video profiles of our nursing home workers

(December 13th, 2017, Ferguson, Missouri) — On day 13 of the Christian Care Nursing Home strike, we profiled four members with diverse backgrounds, ages, and years of service to highlight their voices. We also interviewed a local hero and labor ally from the Coalition of Black Trades.

Jayceana Williams to Christian Care Nursing Home: “We have work to do; come back to the table”

Nancy Jean Gates, 63-Yrs-Old; CNA Worker for 29-Years Making $10.15 an Hour

Joshua Platt: CNA: “Christian Care Is Losing Money, It Makes No Sense NOT to Agree to a Contract”

Patricia Madison, CNA: Day 13 on Strike Line, “One Day Longer, One Day Stronger!”

Labor Ally: Jay Ozier, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists “We Support Striking Nursing Home Workers for Their Courage”

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Guest Column St. Louis Post-Dispatch: I’m standing with striking nursing home workers — and you should, too

(We are pleased to post this guest column by State Representative Bruce Franks Jr. in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch today, December 13th, 2017 about our workers on strike at Christian Care Nursing Home in Ferguson. Representative Franks lives his values, walks-the-walk, and spoke out on our strike line on Dec. 7th – see video herehonk_for_respect_v1). 

By Bruce Franks Jr.

On Dec. 1, 100 workers at Christian Care Home in Ferguson got tired of asking to be treated decently. They got tired of asking for the nursing home ownership to follow labor law. They got tired of waiting for wages they can actually live on.

So they did what you do when you’ve been asking and asking and asking for something that is your basic God-given right and getting nowhere — they decided to stop asking and start demanding. So they went on strike. An unfair labor practice strike to be precise, because they were sick of having their rights trampled on.

strike_day_8_groupIt’s been over a week now, and they are still on the strike line and still demanding that ownership treat them with respect and dignity. They’re sick of being treated like second-class citizens. Sick of being told their rights, their needs, and their work don’t matter. Of being told that they don’t matter.

You see, these workers know they matter. They know their work matters. It matters a lot. They do the really hard work at Christian Care.

This is a nursing home that takes care of older folks who don’t have a lot of money — and who have worked hard all their lives. And these workers are the ones who feed these residents, who bathe them, who dress them and, yes, who change them. These are the workers who make the meals, clean the floors and do the laundry.

And they do it with patience, and they do it with love. And they do it knowing that all of us are going to need some help like that someday. At least if we live long enough to need it.

They are fighting for basic things that labor law says they should have.

They’re asking that their hours not get cut without advance notice and without the nursing home bargaining with them over it — that’s basic labor law.

They’re asking that they not have their vacations taken away from them. That they not be forced to work overtime — again not without notice and not without bargaining over it. These are the rights that people suffered and died to win.

These are rights that belong to everyone, no matter the color of your skin or whether you’re working in a rich suburb or in Ferguson.strike_day_8

That’s why I joined them on the picket line this week, and why I’ll continue to show up for them when my schedule allows — the way they have shown up for everyone else.

They’ve shown up for the residents who depend on them — some of them have been working there 20, even 30-plus years, and their residents are family for them. They show up for their own families, trying to stretch their poverty-level paychecks to feed and clothe their children.

Now, it’s time we all showed up for them.

Not just for their sake, but for all of our sake — because every time we stand up when one of our brothers or sisters is being treated like a second-class citizen, we are standing up for ourselves as well.

At the end of the day, we need to see how all of our fights are connected, whether we’re fighting against police brutality and for police accountability — or fighting for economic justice in St. Louis politics or for labor rights and decent pay at a nursing home in Ferguson.

The fight of the striking Christian Care workers belongs to all of us.

So I hope to see you soon on the picket line in Ferguson, standing up for on-the-job rights, for respect, for dignity, for fair treatment, for living wages — standing up for the worth of all of our brothers and sisters.

 

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Day 12 of Ferguson Nursing Home Strike: Cynthia Harris, CNA for 39-Years Gives Passionate Speech, “Residents miss us and we miss them!”

(December 12th, 2017, Ferguson, MO) –A key SEIU Healthcare member, Cynthia Harris, a CNA who has worked at Christian Care Nursing Home for 39-years, gave one of the most passionate speeches on Day 12 of an unfair labor practice strike which began on Dec. 1st.

Must Watch Speech: Cynthia Harris, CNA for 39-Years, gives passionate speech, “Residents miss us and we miss them!”

Day 12 of strike outside of Christian Care Nursing Home strike, December 12, 2017.

Day 12 of strike outside of Christian Care Nursing Home strike, December 12, 2017.

(A video of Ms. Harris and other members was posted yesterday, on Day 11 of the strike).

Workers have filed an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against Christian Care Home for allegedly making unilateral changes to staffing, hours and schedules, failing to answer grievances, cancelling scheduled bargaining meetings and not being available for bargaining, failing to provide relevant information in a timely manner, and otherwise restricting workers in the exercise of their rights. The National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating that charge.

 

 

 

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Day 11 of Christian Care Nursing Home Strike, and Members Still Fighting!

Watch videos below from workers on the strike line!

(December 11th, 2017, Ferguson, Missouri) — On day 11 of the Christian Care Nursing Home strike, as the sun started to set, workers stood outside in the cold and gusty wind chanting and marching. Cars and trucks honked consistently on the busy road to show solidarity. Members continued to show their strength and dedication to the task at hand.

These healthcare workers would rather be doing their jobs, caring for and supporting their residents. But the on-going issues at Christian Care such as short staffing, gross levels of disrespect, a toxic work environment, little support from management on top of working long hours for such low-wages was simply too much for workers to take.

“Walking out and going on strike wasn’t an easy decision for us. We thought about our residents. But we realized that the only way we would be able to give our residents the quality care, attention, and support that they truly deserve was to send a strong signal to management that the status quo could not, and would not, continue,” said Val Mitchell, CNA.

Watch four short member profiles below:

Cynthia Harris, CNA for 39-Years: “We have to take a stand!”

Ruby Crymes, Steward in Nursing Dept: “We’ve had a battle with management over 12 months.”

Val Mitchell, CNA for 20 Years; on short-staffing “We have 2 workers for 50 patients sometimes”


Constance Bohannon: “We don’t get any respect”

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