SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A top union leader says his men and women — mostly women — deserve a raise, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic showed their worth.
Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois president Greg Kelly says federal money in the proposed state budget pays for rate increases for home care services, but not enough, given the importance of the people providing those services.
“We’d have the chance to secure care for when you and I will one day need a home care worker, to assist us to live in our very own homes,” said Kelly, at a State Capitol news conference.
Kelly says inflation, worker shortages, and other factors are making life difficult for home care workers.
“This workforce has been undervalued for decades,” said Kelly. “They’ve been underpaid for decades. For us, it’s a systemic issue.”
Kelly claims 90 percent of the healthcare workforce is either female, women of color, or immigrants. He and others are calling for a $1.50 rate increase that would in turn raise pay by a dollar an hour. According to a 2021 news release from the State of Illinois, the rate then was $23.40 an hour, as of April 1, 2021. A home care worker gets $15 an hour.
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March 24, 2022 at 03:24PM