Homecare workers seek pay hike

Homecare workers seek pay hike

By Joe Baker

By Joe Baker

Senior Editor

A bus left Rockford this morning (Wednesday), bound for Springfield. Aboard were local homecare and home daycare workers who are among 37,000 such workers financed by the Illinois Department on Aging and the Illinois Department of Human Services.

They are members of Local 880 of the Union of Homecare and Home Daycare Providers in Illinois and Missouri.

The union members are unhappy because they are paid less than a living wage for their efforts. They earn between $5.50 and $7 per hour. A union spokesman said they were given a 14 cents an hour increase beginning next March. He said the workers need at least $1.20 an hour more in order to meet normal living expenses.

The union is concerned because state politicians are talking about cutting the hours of service provided the elderly and talking about cutting the 2 percent raise for care providers in the spring.

“It’s hurting the people who need it most,” said spokesman Cory Muldoon. He said a total of more than 100,000 people are affected by what happens.

Union workers say they don’t receive cost of living increases or health insurance. They want that rectified. Homecare allows at least 68,000 Illinois residents to remain in their homes and is more economical than nursing home care.

More than two thirds of these workers are single heads of households. Some 86 percent are women, 59 percent are African-American, 35 percent are white, and 6 percent are Hispanic, Asian or other nationalities.

The group plans a march on the state capitol and a rally including speeches and meetings with legislators.

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