Home care workers rally at Illinois Capitol, call for higher wages


SPRINGFIELD (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — Hundreds of union members crowded into the Capitol Rotunda Thursday to rally for higher wages for home care workers.

Members of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare Illinois contended that higher wages, including the actual wage also being paid during training, would lead to less turnover and better caregivers.

“Our home care industry has a 65% turnover nationally,” said State Sen. Javier Cervantes (D-Chicago). “That is unacceptable. It is important that we take steps, making home care jobs good jobs that pay well, better benefits and quality training for all.”

SEIU President Greg Kelley said they’re currently fighting for $18 an hour.

“But we ain’t gonna stop at $18,” Kelley said. “Are we gonna stop at $18? $18 is the floor.”

Kelley added that for all the talk of “health care heroes” during the pandemic, the nation has a short memory, with an average wage of about $14 an hour.

The crowd also heard from someone currently on the front lines:

“We are caring for others’ loved ones, and we should be paid a living wage that allows us to take care of our loved ones, too,” they said.

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March 24, 2023 at 05:38PM

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