February 2018

Bill to Create New Benefit for Long-Term Care in Illinois Announced

Sen. Biss, Rep. Welch & Advocates Call For Visionary Action in Face of Aging Population to Ensure Illinois Parents and Grandparents Can Remain in Their Homes

SPRINGFIELD-Sponsors of new legislation to address the accelerating crisis of parents and grandparents unable to afford long-term care in Illinois were joined by advocates at a Capitol press conference Wednesday calling on the state to take visionary action.

“With crisis comes opportunity, and if Illinois acts now it can get ahead of the problem, where too many older adults are falling through the cracks in receiving care,” said Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch (D-Hillside), a sponsor of the measure.LTC HB5687

Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), sponsor in the other chamber, warned that attacks against Medicaid funding both in Washington and Springfield make it necessary to shore up the economic security of Illinoisans who are entering the age where they would require care-but are unable to stay in their homes with dignity.

“This bill creates a right in Illinois to access to long-term care in Illinois,” Biss said. “It recognizes the fundamental human value at stake here, recognizes the technical challenges that we need to overcome to get from here to there and begins walking us down that path.”

The legislation, House Bill 5697 and Senate Bill 2976, named the Affordable Long-Term Services and Supports for Illinois Families Act (see attachment), calls for the creation of a commission and a fully-funded trust to create a benefit for those who fall through the cracks of the current programs for care, and answers the want for seniors and people with disabilities to stay in their own homes.

At the press conference, Don Todd, a Springfield retiree, recounted how his coal miner father and mother were able to take care of his grandparents back in the 1950s, but given modern-day medical costs and the lack of good-paying jobs, this would be almost impossible without support for him and his daughter, who is about to have her 3rd child.

“Multiple generations in Illinois need a solution to how they’re going to pay for care going forward, beginning with mine, Todd said.

Organizations supporting the new legislation backed by Biss and Welch include Caring Across Generations, the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Access Living and SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

Amber Smock, director of advocacy for Access Living, a Chicago-based advocacy organization for people with disabilities, said the new legislation will help strengthen a foundational belief that has broad bipartisan support in Illinois, that seniors and people with disabilities should have the option and independence to stay in their homes instead of costlier nursing facilities.

“At the end of the day this is about independence,” Smock said.

The next step for the legislation includes plans for hearings and an effort to engage residents across the state on how long-term care needs are affecting their lives.

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YMCA Child Care Workers Set to Strike, Citing Unfair Labor Practices and Poverty Wages

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 1, 2018

 Workers at 10 Chicago-area Y Locations Joined by Elected and Faith Leaders and Parents as They Hit the Picket Line

 1.1 - YMCA March 1 Strike Graphic 580

CHICAGO—Nearly 130 child care workers with YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago will launch an historic unfair labor practice strike Thursday morning at 10 locations across the city.

After experiencing repeated unfair labor practices on the job, including threats of retaliation against workers for participating in union actions and failure of YMCA management to provide information necessary to bargaining, workers announced the widespread strike at a press conference last Wednesday attended by elected and faith leaders, parents and community supporters.

Workers will hit the strike lines at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, and hold several public speak-out events throughout the day open to the public and media, with the largest being a press conference with elected officials and candidates including Gubernatorial candidates Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy planned for 12 noon at the YMCA headquarters at 1030 W. Van Buren.

Striking workers, supportive parents, elected leaders and community allies will speak out at press events about the unfair labor practices which led to the strike decision and call out the YMCA for failing to live up to its stated commitment to “disrupt the cycle of poverty” as it pays many of its child care workers poverty-level wages.

WHAT:

130 YMCA child care and early learning workers on strike and walking the picket line, joined by elected officials, parents and community leaders.

 

WHEN:

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Early Morning Strike Line Speak-Outs

 

6:30 AM

South Side YMCA

6330 S Stony Island Ave,

Chicago, IL 60637

 

6:30 AM

Rauner YMCA

2700 S Western Ave,

Chicago, IL 60608

(Spanish-language Spokespeople)

 

 

***Press Conference and Rally:***

 

12 PM

YMCA of Metro Chicago Headquarters

1030 W. Van Buren

(Spanish-language Spokespeople)

 

Speakers include:

State Senator Daniel Biss

Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Kennedy

Alderman Jason Ervin

State Representative Candidate Delia Ramirez

 

 

Leafleting of YMCA Gym Members and Speak-Out

 

4 PM

Lakeview YMCA

3333 N Marshfield Ave,

Chicago, IL 60657

(Spanish-language Spokespeople)

 

WHY:

YMCA child care workers are taking the historic step of engaging in an unfair labor practice strike due to multiple unfair labor practices they’ve experienced including threats of retaliation against workers for participating in union actions and failure of YMCA management to provide information necessary to bargaining.

 

The workers are currently in collective bargaining with the YMCA, who during negotiations called the worker’s proposal for living wages a “fantasy.” The YMCA’s poverty wages create a short-staffing crisis at YMCA-run child care centers that provide care for low-income families. There are currently 50 unfilled child care positions at the YMCA due to high turnover and low wages.

 

 

 

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Rep. Welch, Sen Biss: NEW BENEFIT for Long-Term Care of Seniors, People W/Disabilities to Be Established in New Legislative Push;

Crisis of Care With Aging of Illinois Placing Unsustainable Stresses on Family Budgets, State Finances; Opportunity for a New Framework

WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE HERE: https://livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/8076257/videos/170848425

SPRINGFIELD-With the aging crisis ongoing and accelerating, legislative action is required now to keep Illinois parents and grandparents-and people with disabilities-in their homes while keeping Middle Class and working families out of bankruptcy.

New legislation sponsored by Sen. Daniel Biss and Rep. Chris Welch, and backed by a range of advocacy groups, will seek to create a sustainable and universal new benefit, similar to Social Security, to ensure that aging Illinoisans don’t fall through the cracks.

With crisis comes opportunity and the new benefit offers Illinois a chance to act, instead of react, to long-term pressures.

Sen. Biss, Rep. Welch and advocates will be available to discuss the new legislation, and the issues underlying, at a press conference 10:30 a.m. TODAY, Weds., Feb. 28th, in the Capitol’s Blue Room.

WHO: Sen. Daniel Biss, Rep. Chris Welch, Access Living, Caring Across Generations, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans

WHAT: Press conference to discuss HB 5697/SB 2976, a new plan to create a universal long-term care program.

WHERE: Capitol Blue Room, Springfield.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. TODAY, WEDS., Feb. 28th.

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 LTC HB5687

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SEIU Home Care March Membership Meetings

Eboard DORS 3

Saturday, March 17

SOUTH SUBURBS: 9:30 a.m. at the Harvey Community Center, 15320 Center Street, Harvey, IL

CHICAGO: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 2229 S. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL

ROCKFORD: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 4920 E. State Street, Rockford, IL

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

MOUNT VERNON: 10 a.m. at the SEIU office, 206 S. 9th Street, Mount Vernon, 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 the SEIU office, 701 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, IL

CHAMPAIGN: 11 a.m. at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green Street, Champaign, IL

 

Thursday, March 22

OLNEY: 5:30 p.m. at the Olney Public Library, 400 W. Main Street, Olney, IL

 

Saturday, March 24

JOLIET: 9:30 a.m. at the Joliet Public Library, 3395 Black Road, Joliet, IL

CANTON: 10 a.m. at the Salvation Army, 176 1st Avenue, Canton, IL

ALTON: 1 p.m. at the Hayner Library, 132 Alton Square, Alton, IL

 

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Berwyn Community Fights $3.5 Million Property Tax Loss That Could Result from Loyola Medicine’s Purchase of MacNeal Hospital

Community calls for community benefits agreement that protects Berwyn from lost property tax revenue and ensures hospital workers are paid a living wage and have the right to join a union 

See attached fact sheet regarding the sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine

Watch a video of the press conference

BERWYN— Homeowners, teachers, clergy, and hospital workers voiced their concerns about the potential sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine at a press conference ahead of a hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

The group says the purchase of MacNeal, a for-profit hospital, by the not-for-profit Loyola Medicine hospital system will take badly needed tax revenue from the community, further burdening Berwyn taxpayers and impacting schools and other services. MacNeal is the #1 taxpayer in the City of Berwn. Loyola Medicine, while technically a non-profit, operates like a corporation. The group provided a fact sheet that showed the loss of property taxes to school districts and local governments would total $3.5 million a year.

Berwyn2

They called for a Loyola Medicine to sign a community benefit agreement that would include:

  • Annual payment in lieu of taxes equal to lost property tax revenue.
  • $15 minimum wage and right to organize free from interference
  • Local hiring
  • Community Benefit Advisory Board

Berwyn homeowner Emily Kraiem voiced her concern about higher property taxes. Kraiem’s property tax bill is approximately $5,000 a year. It’s estimated that homeowners’ like Emily could pay an additional $185 a year if Loyola doesn’t pay any property tax.

“Working people like me are stretched thin.  We can’t afford to pay higher property taxes just so the rich can pay less,” said Kraiem.

Robert Bartlett, a teacher at Morton West High School, said the loss of property tax revenue from the hospital sale to Loyola could cause the loss of seven teachers or 16 educational support staff.  Bartlett says Morton West hasn’t yet recovered from the 2008 recession. Class size has swelled to 30 students (up from 24) and academic classes have been cut to five.

“A child’s zip code should not determine their educational opportunities. I’m also of the opinion that institutions in our communities should uplift our communities, not diminish them,” said Bartlett.

Anne Igoe – Vice President of Hospitals and Health Systems for SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas – called attention to a 2012 law lobbied for by the Illinois Hospital Association that allows rich hospitals like Loyola to not pay property taxes.

Berwyn3

“We’re here to send a message to the Illinois Hospital Association that workers and communities won’t be run over by big rich hospitals and their lobbyists,” said Igoe.

Shantell Grace, an environmental service (EVS) worker who works at Loyola Medicine-owned Gottlieb Hospital in Melrose Park, spoke about the type of employer Loyola Medicine is.

Berwyn1

“They work me to very hard and pay me poverty wages,” Grace said.  “Despite the fact that my work saves lives and that I have 17 years of experience, I’m only paid $13 an hour there.” She says workers are constantly quitting because of the low pay, which leaves the hospital short of critical staff.  Grace says the Loyola management doesn’t want her to join a union and distributes anti-union material.

Grace also works at Northwestern Hospital in Chicago where she has a union. At Northwestern, she makes almost $9 an hour more for doing the exact same job. “I know the union difference. I know Loyola Medicine doesn’t have to treat its workers and patients like this,” she said.

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RELATED

Chicago Tribune: Loyola’s purchase of MacNeal Hospital could take away Berwyn’s biggest source of property tax revenue

Crain’s Chicago Business: Here’s who is unhappy with the Loyola-MacNeal deal

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The Real Impact of the MacNeal Hospital Sale to Loyola Medicine

Impact on Property Tax Revenue

  • MacNeal Hospital is by far the #1 property tax payer in Berwyn.[i]
  • Berwyn stands lose an estimated $3.5 million in annual property tax revenue due to the Loyola/MacNeal deal.[ii] It will significantly impact local schools.

Charity Care spending

  • Loyola Medicine spent a meager 0.75% of net patient service revenue on charity care in 2017.[iii]
  • Loyola’s charity care spending as a percentage of revenue is lower than regional and national averages.
    • Cook County – 2.9%[iv]; Illinois – 2.1%[v]; Top 20 U.S. Health Systems – 1.4%[vi]

Loyola pays workers poorly and does not provide affordable benefits

  • Loyola pays front-line service hospital workers as low as $12 per hour.
  • CNA/Orderly/Attendant Average Hourly Wage from CMS FY 2018 Wage Index:[vii]
Medicare ID Hospital Name Average Hourly Wage
140150 University of Illinois Medical Center  $    20.52
140281 Northwestern Memorial Hospital  $    20.40
140124 John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County  $    18.06
140119 Rush University Medical Center  $    17.70
140088 The University of Chicago Medical Center  $    16.53
140276 Loyola University Medical Center  $    15.66

Loyola/Trinity pays executives lavish salaries.

  • Trinity Health Illinois CEO Larry Goldberg received $1.3 million in total compensation in FY 2016.[viii]
    • $625/hour.
    • 40 times greater than average CNA pay @ Loyola University Medical Center.[ix]
  • Loyola/Trinity is paying a substantial price for MacNeal.
    • Loyola Medicine is paying $270 million to acquire MacNeal.[x]
    • Trinity only paid $100 million for the Loyola system in 2011.[xi]
    • If Loyola/Trinity has the resources to meet Tenet Health’s asking price for MacNeal, it can certainly afford to both provide workers with better pay and benefits and provide Berwyn an annual payment in lieu of lost property tax revenue.

The Illinois Hospital Association controls hospital policy in Illinois

The IHA aggressively pursues a legislative and policy agenda in Springfield that favors big health systems over community hospitals, workers, and patients.

  • Public Act 99-154: Health Facilities and Services Review Board Rule Changes (2016)
    • Expands projects eligible for an exemption from full HFSRB review to “include those to discontinue a category of service or to close a health care facility”.[xii]
      • A hospital or health system can now eliminate services or close altogether without the state board considering the impact on patients and communities.

Hospital Assessment Bill (Pending)

  • The IHA drafted the new hospital provider assessment model that distributes $3.5 billion in state and federal Medicaid funds.
  • The IHA-drafted model would close Roseland Community Hospital and South Shore Hospital. Both threatened facilities are on Chicago’s south side and care for medically underserved communities of color.

Big health systems dominate and control the IHA and determine its policy agenda

  • Major health systems are comfortable with significant consolidation and closure of safety-net facilities.
    • Trinity Health Illinois President & CEO Larry Goldberg told the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce that he expects there to be only three to five health systems operating in Chicagoland in the near future.[xiii]

Demand:  Community Benefit Agreement

Community Benefit Agreement should include:

  • Annual payment in lieu of taxes equal to lost property tax revenue.
  • $15 minimum wage and right to organize free from interference
  • Local hiring
  • Community Benefit Advisory Board

[i] City of Berwyn, Illinois, Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Year Ended December 31, 2016, p. 152, http://www.berwyn-il.gov/sites/all/files/pdfs/Finance/2016_City_of_Berwyn_CAFR.pdf

[ii] Office of the Cook County Clerk, 2016 Tax amounts for 77 parcels that comprise the MacNeal Hospital Campus.

[iii] E-001-18-MacNeal Hospital, Berwyn, Exemption Application, Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board, January 10, 2018, p. 91 https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/Projects/ProjectDocuments/Exempt/E-001-18/2018-01-10%20E-001-18%20Application.pdf

[iv] Illinois Department of Public Health, Annual Hospital Questionnaire – Calendar Year 2016, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/InventoriesData/FacilityProfiles/Pages/default.aspx

[v] Illinois Department of Public Health, Annual Hospital Questionnaire – Calendar Year 2016, https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/hfsrb/InventoriesData/FacilityProfiles/Pages/default.aspx

[vi] Bannow, Tara, “Charity care spending flat among top hospitals”, Modern Healthcare, January 6, 2018, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180106/NEWS/180109941

[vii] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Fiscal Year 2018 Final S3 Occupational Mix Public Use File, CNAs, Orderlies, and Attendants – Hourly Wage, available @ https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/FY2018-Wage-Index-Home-Page.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=1&DLSortDir=descending

[viii] Loyola University Medical Center, IRS Form 990, FY 2016, p. 69, viewed via Guidestar @ http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments/2016/364/015/2016-364015560-0e397d53-9.pdf

[ix] Calculated using Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Fiscal Year 2018 S3 Occupational Mix Public Use File, CNAs, Orderlies, and Attendants – Hourly Wage, https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/Wage-Index-Files-Items/FY2018-Wage-Index-Home-Page.html?DLPage=1&DLEntries=10&DLSort=1&DLSortDir=descending

[x] Schorsch, Kristen, “Loyola to pony up $270 million for suburban Chicago hospital”, January 26, 2018, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20180126/NEWS/180129915

[xi] Vesely, Rebecca, “Trinity Health completes Loyola acquisition”, Modern Healthcare, July 1, 2011, http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20110701/NEWS/307019963?template=print

[xii] Illinois Register, Rules for Government Agencies, Volume 40, Issue 44, October 28, 2016, p. 14650, http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/register/volume40/register_volume40_issue44.pdf

[xiii] Goldberg, Larry, “Managing through Health Care in Uncertain Times”, Presentation to Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, January 25, 2018.

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YMCA Child Care Workers Picket, Announce Plan to Strike

 

YMCA Strike Presser 01

CHICAGO- Child care workers at the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago picketed in protest of poverty wages, understaffing, and disinvestment from vulnerable communities on Wednesday. They were joined by parents, community advocates and political leaders, including Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia and State Representative Litesa Wallace.

YMCA early childhood education teacher Tahiti Hamer announced that child care workers at 10 child care sites across Chicago voted Monday to authorize a strike and that workers plan to hold an unfair labor practice strike on March 1st.

“While it is a very hard decision to go on strike, we know that this is the right thing to do in order to guarantee quality care for every child and a good life for every worker at the YMCA,” Hamer said.

The YMCA’s poverty-level wages have resulted not only in economic hardship for child care workers, but also a short-staffing crisis at YMCA-run child care centers that impacts the quality and availability of care for low-income families.  There are currently 50 unfilled child care positions at the YMCA due to high turnover and low wages. Despite the staffing crisis, YMCA management called workers’ proposals for living wages “a fantasy”, and only offered 1% raises to nearly half of the bargaining unit. Child care workers and low-income families bear the brunt of the Y’s poverty wages, while YMCA CEO Dick Malone makes $300 per hour.

YMCA Strike Presser 29

Workers at the YMCA are supported by parents who are concerned by the impact of understaffing on their children’s care and education. Illinois State Representative Litesa Wallace echoed those concerns, saying, “As a working mother, I know what it’s like to worry about the quality of care for my child. When workers are paid such low wages that there’s a staffing crisis at the center, it affects the education and care the children receive. I’m proud to stand with SEIU Healthcare and call for the YMCA to live up to their commitment to ‘disrupt the cycle of poverty.”

YMCa Strike Presser 17.1 Chuy and Greg

Workers, parents, and advocates also protested the continued disinvestment in vulnerable neighborhoods that reached a head in August when the YMCA closed the South Chicago Y and a Head Start location in Logan Square. “While the YMCA of Chicago talks about ending the cycle of poverty, their actions speak louder than their words.  Ending the cycle of poverty means paying their employees a living wage, making sure families get quality care and investing in vulnerable communities,” said Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.

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Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike Still Inspires 50 Years Later

3

On Monday, February 12, a delegation of thirty-one SEIU Healthcare Missouri Kansas members loaded a bus for Memphis, TN. A coalition of organizations including Stand Up KC, Show Me 15, the (New) Poor Peoples Campaign, Jobs With Justice, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, and several SEIU locals descended on Memphis for demonstrations and actions to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the start of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Workers’ Strike.

The SEIU Healthcare group from Saint Louis showed their veteran status as demonstrators with the loudest, most practiced, most disciplined appearance on the Union Avenue McDonald’s strike line. At one point, an organizer for the event shouted, “We want Saint Louis at the front,” and our crew was placed front and center.

SEIU members with SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and AFSCME Sanitation Worker Strike Organizer Bill Lucy

SEIU members with SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and AFSCME Sanitation Worker Strike Organizer Bill Lucy

Next was a symposium at the National Civil Rights Museum, with a panel that included Elmore Nickleberry, one of the striking sanitation workers from 1968. Also in attendance was Bill Lucy, the AFSCME organizer for the 1968 strike, and Mary Kay Henry, International President of SEIU. The striking workers from Christian Care Home in attendance were recognized by the room.

The last event for the day was a retracing of the original march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to the Memphis City Hall in 1968, shortly before his assassination. Despite the cold, our delegation was energetic, committed, and boisterous. The mantra for the day was “The Lou, comin’ through!”

We’re proud of every member who participated in this historic, inspiring commemoration!

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Outraged over potential loss in property tax revenue, Berwyn community calls for scrutiny on sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine

Residents, workers to demand community benefits agreement requiring Loyola Medicine to pay its fair share so residents don’t get hit with higher property taxes and/or lose vital services

Agreement would obligate Loyola to pay hospital workers a living wage and allow them to join a union

BERWYN— Homeowners, teachers, clergy, and hospital workers will voice their concerns about the potential sale of MacNeal Hospital to Loyola Medicine during a 3:45 p.m. press conference outside Berwyn City Hall on Thursday, Feb. 22.  Immediately following the press conference, members of the group will voice their concerns at a 4:15 p.m. hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board.

Critics say the purchase of MacNeal, a for-profit hospital, by the not-for-profit Loyola Medicine hospital system will take badly needed tax revenue from the community, further burdening Berwyn taxpayers and impacting schools and other services. MacNeal is the #1 taxpayer in the City of Berwn. Loyola Medicine, while technically a non-profit, operates like a corporation. In fact, MacNeal Hospital devoted more of its net revenue to charity care than did Loyola Medicine in 2016 (1.02% v. 0.47%). The Cook County Clerk’s office is expected to testify to the precise dollar amount of loss property tax revenue at the hearing.

Workers and faith leaders will highlight the harm Loyola Medicine causes by paying its front-line service workers poverty wages and contrasting those low wages with the high salaries to its CEO and managers. The group also plans to voice concerns that jobs and services currently performed in the community at MacNeal could be moved to other Loyola facilities outside Berwyn.

 

WHO:

Anne Igoe, Vice President of Hospitals & Health Systems, SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana

Emily Kraiem, Berwyn Homeowner

Rob Bartlett, Berwyn High School Teacher

Shantell Grace, EVS hospital worker at Loyola Medicine-owned Gottlieb Hospital

Pastor Marvin Hunter, Grace Memorial Baptist Church

WHAT:

Press conference to voice concerns about loss of property tax revenue and other issues with sale of MacNeal Hospital to Medicine, a low-wage employer whose charity care falls far below state standards

WHERE:

Outside Berwyn City Hall, 6700 West 26th Street, Berwyn, IL

WHEN:

3:45 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22 (press conference); 4:15 p.m. (Hearing before the Illinois Health Facilities & Services Review Board

 

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A Rauner Budget Closer Look: 5 Failures for Seniors, People With Disabilities & Caregivers

As details emerge from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s FY 2019 Budget, one thing is clear: His pattern of diminishing services and ending protections for seniors and people with disabilities who rely on home healthcare-and their caregivers-remains constant.

 

Here’s a quick list of 5 Failures of the Rauner Budget (in no particular order) when it comes to home healthcare in Illinois.

 

1.       Denying Home Services Program Caregivers Their .48-cent raise

Last year’s bipartisan budget agreement, passed over Gov. Rauner’s veto, included a .48-cent raise for caregivers in the Home Services Program which allows people with disabilities to remain in their homes. The denial of the raise is the subject of an ongoing class-action lawsuit. The Rauner budget does not account for the raise as workers in the program, most of whom make $13 per hour, struggle in poverty and are forced to search for other work.

 

HaveAHeartRauner2

2.       Taking Away Health Insurance for Caregivers

Home Services Program workers bargained for modest health insurance coverage a few years back. This health coverage allows many of them to seek affordable medical attention and remain in the workforce. Gov. Rauner is seeking to strip this away.

 

3.       Cutting Workers’ Wages By Rolling Back .72-Cent Rate Increases for Caregivers In the Community Care Program for Seniors

High turnover in the home care workforce exists because of low wages and physically and emotionally challenging work, is resulting in a critical shortage of quality caregivers that’s harming consumers. The General Assembly approved a .72-cent per hour wage increase for the Community Care Program workforce, yet the Rauner budget strips this away, cutting workers’ wages.

 

4.       Denying Quality Protections for Seniors Being Shifted Into Managed Care

As more and more seniors who rely on the Community Care Program are shifted into managed care, as touted in Gov. Rauner’s budget, they remain WITHOUT assurances that the level and quality of their care will remain.

 

5.       Denial, Denial and Denial About Adequate Funding for Social Services

Gov. Rauner continues to avoid the elephant in the room, the lack of a fair mechanism to fund services that ensures that those at the very top pay their fair share so that the badly-torn social safety net remains intact for those who need it most.

 

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Jane Addams Senior Caucus

Chicago ADAPT

Access Living

Caring Across Generations

Statewide Independent Living Council

Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans

SEIU Healthcare Illinois

Illinois Network of Centers for Independent

Alliance for Community Services

Progress Center for Independent Living

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