Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

Healthcare workers in Rockford are calling on legislators to invest more in caregiving.



Members of SEIU in Rockford are rallying behind a proposal that would widen the current assessment scoring used to determine eligibility for home care programs. Brenda Brockman with SEIU called it a step towards restructuring long-term care options. 


Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

SEIU Local 73 confirmed that its bargaining units reached contract agreements with the University of Illinois at Chicago after more than a week on strike. Workers returned this morning.

SEIU member Alicia Uwumarogie confirmed, “The strike is over and that we are leaving the picket lines victorious in so many areas.”

The “wins” in the new agreements include increases in shift differentials, bilingual pay for hospital workers and the workers of the division of specialized care for children.

Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

Organized workers at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford continued their strike this week as contract negotiations continue.  

Carmen Garcia has worked for the UIC division of specialized child care for more than 20 years. She says she and her coworkers just want a fair contract like other staff are already getting. 

SEIU Local 73 Strike Ongoing

Sep 15, 2020
Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco

Members of SEIU Local 73 who work at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) are on their second day of strike.



SEIU Local 73 is calling for the University of Illinois to “respect us, protect us and pay us.” The University of Illinois College of Medicine also has campuses in Chicago, Rockford and Peoria. Dian Palmer is the President of SEIU Local 73 and she says the university failed to meaningfully respond to issues including safe working conditions, adequate staffing, and pay increase 


Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration has suspended a no-overtime policy for workers who care for disabled residents in their homes.

Secretary of Human Services James Dimas says his agency will seek a policy through an administrative rules process with the Illinois Legislature's consent.

The home-care workers' union, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, planned to file a lawsuit challenging the rule.

SEIU vice president Terri Harkin says barring overtime forces clients to find backup caregivers not readily available.

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

Roughly 24,000 workers who care for disabled residents in their homes would make at least $15 an hour in legislation headed to the governor.

The Illinois House approved the plan 67-44 Wednesday. The workers unionized by SEIU Healthcare Illinois may continue negotiating for higher wages.

Rep. Sonya Harper says the employees get $13 an hour doing physically taxing and often unpleasant work. She says allowing disabled residents to stay at home saves the state money in nursing home costs.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner recently reached an agreement with a trio of unions. They represent about 300 plumbers, machinists, engineers and operators.

But Rauner's still at odds with unions representing the bulk of state employees: the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and the Service Employees International Union. SEIU represents home care workers -- people who help the disabled and elderly care for themselves.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner warns cuts are coming if there's no budget deal. Beginning July 1, that could leave some people without jobs. 

Several union members gathered to make an appeal to the Governor.

Kevin Holmes is employed as a Home Care Worker. He's a father of four.

Holmes is concerned about what will happen to his paycheck if Rauner's proposal to cut back on home care services for seniors and the disabled goes through. He says he's worried about the people he cares for.