Health care worker union endorses Brandon Johnson for mayor – Crain’s Chicago Business

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Johnson “is not just an advocate for labor, but a former organizer who has fought with us side by side for much of the past 20 years,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois President Greg Kelley at a press conference announcing Johnson’s endorsement today. “Brandon shares our vision for the Chicago our members deserve—the Chicago we all deserve.”

Kelley said SEIU Healthcare Illinois has a shared vision with Johnson on issues including affordable housing, making child care available to parents regardless of income, and safe communities. SEIU Healthcare represents 90,000 workers across Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas, about 36,000 of whom live in Chicago, Kelley said.

“It’s time for the workers to rise up,” Johnson said at the press conference. “The working class will bring a revival to this city.”

Attendees chanted “Brandon for mayor” after Johnson finished his remarks.

SEIU Healthcare has been active this year, rallying and bringing attention to what it’s described as “dangerously” low staffing levels at Chicago hospitals, including Northwestern Memorial, Roseland, Mount Sinai, St. Bernard, Loretto and others. Local hospitals, like those throughout the country, have struggled to recruit and retain nurses, respiratory therapists and other workers as the COVID-19 pandemic burned out many staffers, some of whom have left the industry for good.

SEIU members have cited low pay and poor working conditions among reasons why workers are in short supply. To fill vacancies, some hospitals, such as Sinai Chicago and Rush University Medical Center, have raised pay or offered bonuses.

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November 14, 2022 at 05:48PM

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