January 2018

The State of the State? Tired, Broke and Getting Worse

SPRINGFIELD-Following is the response of SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley to the State of the State address Wednesday from Gov. Bruce Rauner to the General Assembly:

Ask anyone who doesn’t work for Gov. Bruce Rauner what the real state of the state is and they’ll tell you: Tired, broke and getting worse.

 

“Tired of a governor who makes excuses, blames others for his bad acts and refuses to compromise or make billionaires and millionaires at the very top share any of the burden of fixing our structural problems.

 

“Broke from a useless budget shutdown that added to our deficit and backlog of bills, made borrowing more expensive and wantonly blew a billion dollars on late fees that could have gone to pay for vital services.

 

“And getting worse in just about every major category, with massive damage to the state’s child care and home healthcare services, not to mention hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans whose lives have been permanently damaged by Gov. Rauner’s actions.

 

“On top of it, Gov. Rauner continues to pursue the destruction of unions. And he has failed to stand up even a little to the policies of Donald Trump that hurt the welfare of Illinoisans in everything from health care and immigration to tax cuts for the rich and the dismantling of the social safety net.

 

“Today you heard a politician more interested in being re-elected, on what basis nobody knows.

 

“That’s because, while it is true that Illinois had problems before he was elected governor, there can be no question that Bruce Rauner has made the lives of Illinoisans significantly worse.”

 

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Safety Net Hospital Workers Sound the Alarm Over Potential Closures

New Hospital Assessment and Funding Formula Risks Billions in Lost Federal Medicaid Dollars

PerryHCII hospital workers rallied at the state capitol today to save safety net hospitals.  They called on Gov. Rauner’s administration at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) to urgently produce a fair and equitable hospital assessment and new Medicaid funding formula to protect the state’s safety net hospitals.

Hospital workers were joined by state representatives Marcus Evans and Juliana Stratton, who are great champions for affordable healthcare and good jobs.
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Here’s how WTAX Radio described the rally:

The Illinois Health and Hospital Association says it’s working for the most vulnerable Illinoisans, but not everybody agrees.

Purple-shirted members of SEIU Healthcare chanted “Shame on you!” as they rallied at midday Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda. The union says the hospitals invest in the suburbs, not in places like the south and west sides of Chicago, or in East St Louis.

Rep. Evans took aim at the Illinois Hospital Association for its efforts to short-change safety nets:

“It’s ridiculous. I am ashamed of the Illinois Hospital Association. We’re not going to stand for it…The buck stops here. We’re going to save these hospitals and get them what they deserve. The only issue I have is we’re not even asking for enough!”

Rep. Stratton noted how safety net hospitals are economic engines of healthy communities and urged the Governor and the IHA to provide equitable funding.


Safety net hospital workers are demanding that Rauner’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services and the Illinois Hospital Association produce a new assessment urgently so that the legislature can vote to approve the measure and submit the new assessment to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) who have to approve any new formula.

Any delay or disruption of Medicaid funding to the state’s hospitals would be utterly disastrous, especially to Illinois’ safety net hospitals and critical access hospitals and will force many of them to close and cost thousands of jobs and lost vital services and access to emergency rooms.

The costs of providing health care in safety-nets continue to rise while their reimbursement does not. For most safety-nets, even continuing to receive flat funding puts them at serious risk of closing.  Here are some reasons why fairly funding safety net hospitals is so important.

  • Safety net hospitals are in disadvantaged communities without an alternate access to an Emergency Room
  • Safety net hospitals provide care to a primarily African American population
  • Safety net hospitals provide thousands of jobs to the communities
  • Safety net hospitals receive 40-50% of their operating revenue from the hospital assessment
  • Safety net hospitals typically have over 70% of their patients on Medicaid
  • The Illinois Medicaid program pays 50-70 cents on the dollar for the cost of services
  • Safety net hospitals often have little/no ability to offset Medicaid losses on private payers, like larger hospital systems are able to do.

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February Illinois Home Care Membership Meetings

Saturday, February 24

South Suburbs: 9:30 a.m. at the Harvey Community Center, 15320 Center Ave., Harvey, IL

Chicago: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 2229 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL

Rockford: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 4920 E. State St., Rockford, IL

Marion: 10 a.m. at the AFSCME Hall, 3909 Ernestine Dr., Marion, IL

Peoria: 10 a.m. at the Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson St., Peoria, IL

Metro East: 10:30 a.m. at the East St. Louis Public Library, 5300 State Street, East St. Louis, IL

Springfield: 11 a.m. at our SEIU office, 702 S. 2nd St., Springfield, IL

 

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SEIU Healthcare Illinois Launches Radio, Print Ads to Protect Funding for Safety Net Hospitals

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(January 25th, 2018, Chicago) — SEIU Healthcare Illinois launched radio ads in Chicago and East St. Louis media markets today following a full page ad in the Springfield Journal Register on January 23rd.

Radio Ad: Protect Roseland Hospital, South Side of Chicago


Radio Ad: Protect Touchette Regional Hospital, East St. Louis

Hospital workers are calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration at the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA) to protect funding for the state’s safety net hospitals that serve low-income and communities of color.

Right now, HFS and the Illinois Hospital Association are drafting a new Hospital Provider Assessment that distributes federal Medicaid dollars to hospitals. The IHA, which is drafting the measure, has actually added hundreds of millions of federal Medicaid dollars into the Hospital Provider Assessment.  But none of these new federal Medicaid dollars have been allocated to support and invest in safety-net hospitals.

Our communities are already struggling with poverty, joblessness, increased violence and a lack of access to healthcare which is why safety nets need more funding and resources, not less.

Many legislators, from both sides of the aisles, have publicly committed to protecting Illinois’ safety nets, as well as critical access hospitals that serve rural parts of Illinois. This is an encouraging sign of bipartisan cooperation.

It is urgent that Gov. Rauner’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services produce a fair and equitable hospital assessment that provides at least $50 million in increased funding to strengthen our safety nets and makes a substantial investment in our communities.

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Centers for New Horizons Child Care Workers Deliver Petition Demanding Seniority.

A delegation of Centers for New Horizons members delivered petitions to Centers For New Horizons Headquarters today, representing an overwhelming majority of their co-workers, who signed-on saying that SENIORITY MATTERS!  Members want their dedication and service to Centers for New Horizons to matter!CNH Petition Delivery 1

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At Roseland Hospital, Workers and CEOs Call on State Lawmakers to Demand the Illinois Hospital Association Provide More Money to Safety Nets Or Kill the Assessment Bill

Onzell Brown, Roseland Hospital worker, speaks at press conference to demand that the Illinois Hospital Association protect all safety nets as part of any new hospital assessment on Medicaid funding; Jan. 18th, 2018

Onzell Brown, Roseland Hospital worker, speaks at press conference to demand that the Illinois Hospital Association protect all safety nets as part of any new hospital assessment on Medicaid funding; Jan. 18th, 2018

(See videos of speeches from our press conference at Roseland Hospital below). 

(January, 18th, 2018, Chicago) –Safety net hospital workers from across Illinois held a press conference at Roseland Hospital to call on Gov. Rauner’s administration at the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) to urgently produce a hospital assessment and new Medicaid funding formula to protect the state’s hospitals.

Illinois risks losing more than $3.5 billion in Medicaid funding if the IHA and HFS cannot agree to secure federal approval of a new assessment model before July 1st.

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State Senator Emil Jones III speaks at a press conference at Roseland Hospital to demand that safety nets do not get any cuts under the proposed hospital assessment and new Medicaid funding formula, and that safety nets should receive an increase in funding; January 18th, 2018.

Hospitals throughout the state depend on Medicaid supplemental payments, especially safety-net and critical access hospitals in rural parts of the state, to stay open and who serve low-income and communities of color.

New revelations have been leaked that the Illinois Hospital Association is trying to garner an estimated $390 million in new federal Medicaid dollars. However, the IHA and the Rauner administration is still proposing to slash funding to safety nets, including Roseland Hospital, which would likely force the hospital to shut down.

Any delay or disruption of Medicaid funding to the state’s hospitals would be utterly disastrous, especially to Illinois’ safety net hospitals and critical access hospitals and will force many of them to close and cost thousands of jobs and lost vital services and access to emergency rooms.

 

Jaquie Algee: “Lawmakers must hold Hospital Assoc & Rauner Admin Accountable On Safety Nets”

Onzell Brown, Roseland Hospital: “Lawmakers Must Demand Safety Nets Like Roseland Are Protected!”

Tamera Cunningham, Touchette: “Why Is Hospital Assessment Debate Happening Behind Closed Doors?”

Tim Egan, Roseland CEO: “”With $390M Available How Does the State Have Audacity to Cut Safety Nets?”

Sen Emil Jones: “If there are cuts to safety net hospitals, I’ll work to kill the bill”

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SEIU Healthcare Year Beginning Membership Meetings are Around the Corner!

Lead, Fight, Win!

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All SEIU Healthcare members are invited to join us at the meeting happening in your area where we will discuss opportunities, challenges, and fights ahead in 2018. Now is the time to get excited and focused on what we must do to LEAD and WIN!

Saturday, January 27th Meetings

South Suburbs: 9:30 a.m. at the Harvey Community Center, 15320 Center Ave., Harvey, IL

Chicago: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 2229 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL

Rockford: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 4920 E. State St., Rockford, IL

Springfield: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 702 S. 2nd St., Springfield, IL

 

Saturday, February 3rd Meetings

Merrillville: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 60 W. 80th Pl., Merrillville, IN

Metro East: 10 a.m. at the East St. Louis Public Library, 5300 State Street, East St. Louis, IL

Mt. Vernon: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 206 S. 9th St., Mt. Vernon, IL

Peoria: 10 a.m. at the Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson St., Peoria, IL

St. Louis: 10 a.m. at Greater St. Mark’s Family Church, 9950 Glen Owen Drive, St. Louis, MO

 

Saturday, February 10th Meeting

Indianapolis: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 1800 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN

 

Saturday, February 24th Meeting

Kansas City: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 1101 E. 87th St., Kansas City, MO

 


¡Se un Líder, Lucha, Gana!

Todos los miembros de SEIU Healthcare están invitados a participar en una reunión en el área donde viven para discutir las oportunidades, retos y, luchas que enfrentaremos en el 2018. ¡Este es el momento de entusiasmarse y enfocarse en lo que debemos hacer para LIDERAR y Ganar!

 

Sábado, Enero 27th

South Suburbs: 9:30 a.m. at the Harvey Community Center, 15320 Center Ave., Harvey, IL

Chicago: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 2229 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL

Rockford: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 4920 E. State St., Rockford, IL

Springfield: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 702 S. 2nd St., Springfield, IL

 

Sábado, Febrero 3rd

Merrillville: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 60 W. 80th Pl., Merrillville, IN

Metro East: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 449 N. 33rd St., East St. Louis, IL

Mt. Vernon: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 206 S. 9th St., Mt. Vernon, IL

Peoria: 10 a.m. at the Labor Temple, 400 NE Jefferson St., Peoria, IL

St. Louis: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 5585 Pershing Ave., St. Louis, MO

 

Sábado, Febrero 10th

Indianapolis: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 1800 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN

 

Sábado, Febrero 24th

Kansas City: 10 a.m. at our SEIU office, 1101 E. 87th St., Kansas City, MO

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BREAKING: SEIU Healthcare Opposes TIF Funds for Presence Health

Presence Health pays women of color poverty wages and uses anti-union tactics against them

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Chicago – Today, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Kansas (SEIU HCIIMK) calls on the Chicago City Council to oppose giving $5.5 million in city TIF funds to Presence Health.  SEIU HCIIMK President Greg Kelley wrote a letter to city aldermen explaining the union’s opposition.

See the full letter below.

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Dear Alderman,

I write to urge you to vote against providing millions in TIF funds to Presence Health. Presence Health pays women of color poverty wages and uses anti-union tactics against them. Presence also continues to ignore the healthcare deserts of the city’s south and west sides.

Our organizers have spoken to workers at Presence Health who make under $13 an hour despite nearly 20 years of experience.  Workers who clean hospital rooms protect against the spread of infection. Workers who stock the emergency room ensure the tools are there when they’re needed to save lives. These workers – many of whom are women of color – are critical to patient health and safety and yet Presence Health won’t pay them a living wage.

Presence Health has engaged in shameful anti-union activities while its workers attempt to organize, which keeps wages low and silences workers’ voices. They have encouraged workers to visit anti-union websites that advocate for so-called “Right to Work” policies. And they have circulated anti-union literature to workers to discourage unionization. Workers rights are under attack from the Trump and Rauner administrations. This is exactly the kind of behavior that Chicago as a “Trump-Free Zone” must stand firmly against.

Voting for the Presence Health TIF funding is an endorsement of Presence Health’s pro-poverty, anti-union, and anti-affordable healthcare policies that harm women of color. On behalf of the over 90,000 workers of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, & Kansas, I urge a no vote.

-Greg Kelley

President

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RELATED:

HCII VP of Hospitals and Health Systems, Anne Igoe, speaks at a press conference opposing TIF funding for Presence Health

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Striking Christian Care Workers to March in King’s Footsteps As Ferguson Nursing Home Strike Enters 7th Week, Workers to Join in MLK Day March to Invoke King’s Economic Justice Legacy and Demand Dignity and Respect

ST. LOUIS—Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. marched with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, striking Christian Care nursing home workers will follow in his footsteps by joining in the MLK Day march as their strike enters its 7th week.
The workers, members of SEIU Healthcare Missouri and Kansas, started their unfair labor practice strike on Friday, Dec. 1 after the facility’s ongoing refusal to obey labor law and to bargain with the facility’s 100 workers in good faith and its unjust contract offers.

The striking workers will hold a speakout at 10:30AM (or at the end of the official MLK remembrance program) and then join the march as a group. They will carrying updated versions of the iconic signs from MLK’s historic march with sanitation workers 50 years ago, including signs that proclaim “I AM A WOMAN,” “I AM A MAN,” “UNION JUSTICE NOW!” and “I AM A STRIKING WORKER.” By carrying these signs, the workers will be lifting up a key tenet both of King’s historic Poor People’s Campaign and the revived campaign that inspires this year’s MLK Day March—that all people regardless of race or job title are deserving of dignity and respect.

Striking workers are participating in the march both to celebrate MLK’s legacy—at a time when they have all made prolonged personal sacrifices for both economic and racial justice—and to attract support for their fight for a fair contract. Workers are asking community members to join them in urging Christian Care Home ownership to step aside, following the facility’s failure to follow labor law, pay above-poverty-level wages, and to address its many unfair labor practices.

Workers have filed multiple unfair labor practice (ULP) charges 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.  More recently, workers have alleged that Christian Care Home threatened recent hires with termination for joining the strike and denied accrued and earned benefits to striking employees. The National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating that charge.

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WHAT: Striking Christian Care Home Workers to Hold a Speakout and to March at St. Louis MLK Day Event

 

WHEN and WHERE:

 

Monday, January 15 (MLK Day), 2018
10:30 AM (after end of official MLK remembrance program)
Outside the Old Courthouse at 11 N. Fourth St.

 

 

 

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Nursing Home Workers to Walk the Picket Line and Follow in King’s Footsteps Care Providers to Go on Unfair Labor Practice Strike on MLK Day to Stand Up to Lawbreaking Owner

mlk 580BURBANK, IL—Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. marched with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, nursing home workers will follow in his footsteps by going on strike on the day that bears his name.

The nearly 70 workers, mostly African American women, at Veracare Nursing Home in Burbank, IL, have struggled for a fair contract for nearly a year, while being subjected to numerous unfair labor practices by the facility’s new owner.  In response the workers have chosen to go on a one-day unfair labor practice strike on MLK Day to demand that the owner cease his unfair practices and bargain a fair contract.

Many of the striking workers have cared for residents at the facility for over 20 years, but have illegally had their years of seniority erased and their accumulated vacation hours taken away.

WHAT:

Nursing home workers at Veracare Nursing Home are going on a one-day unfair labor practice strike on MLK Day to demand that the facility owner stop violating labor law and take immediate action to settle a fair contract.

WHEN:

MLK Day—Monday, January 15, 2018
6 AMWorkers on night shift walk off the job to start strike. Striking workers will engage in a short speak out on their reasons for striking and will be joined by community leaders and supporters in walking the picket line.

3 PM—Striking workers are joined by elected officials and other community leaders and supporters for a Press Conference on the strike. Speakers to include:

Cook County Board Commissioner Jesús G. “Chuy” García

State Senator Daniel Biss

State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins

State Representative André M. Thapedi

4 PM—Elected and community leaders walk striking workers back to work.

WHERE:

5400 W 87TH ST BURBANK, IL 60459

WHY:

To invoke Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy of standing up against economic and racial injustice in standing up to unfair labor practices and lack of dignity and respect by the owner of Veracare. Workers are demanding an end to the owner’s lawbreaking behavior and for the owner to settle a fair contract immediately.

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