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Gov. J.B. Pritzker agrees to raises for healthcare workers his predecessor had previously blocked

Written by on March 23, 2019

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has agreed to increase pay for more than 40,000 home aid and child care workers.

Around 28,000 personal assistants working through Illinois’ home service program will receive a 48-cent per hour raise.

In 2017, former Governor Bruce Rauner refused to give aid workers a raise even though the raises were included in the budget proposal at the time. Lawmakers had put the 48-cent raise into the budget plan, which Rauner vetoed. His refusal to grant the raises prompted a class-action lawsuit from the workers. Last year, a Cook County judge ruled in the workers’ favor, a ruling which was upheld by a state appeals court.

Under Pritzker’s agreement, another 14,000 child care workers will receive a rate increase of 4.26%.

The Service Employees International Union Healthcare Illinois (SEIU) made the agreement with Pritzker. The raises for SEIU workers is the second case in which Pritzker paid out money to union workers. Pritzker agreed to raises for more than 20,000 employees for the American Federation of State.

Under former Gov. Rauner’s administration, union workers had not received the raises they were due.

The new rates for childcare and health service workers will be paid out on April 1, and have been promised their back pay by this fall. According to the Chicago Tribune, the total back pay owed to these employees is around $44 million.

Elizabeth Kolze contributed to this story.

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