SEIU protests in Jacksonville over Rauner overtime cuts

By Gary Scott on May 6, 2016 at 9:30am

At Jacksonville’s Community Park yesterday, several people who indicated they belong to a Service Employees International Union local criticized recent action by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

The SEIU members said they’re unhappy with the Rauner administration’s decision to ban overtime for home health care workers, which went into effect last weekend.

The administration says the state can’t afford it, despite recent federal rules that SEIU says extend overtime protection to home health care providers.

Gail Hamilton was at yesterday’s rally. She says Rauner’s move will have a negative impact on the elderly and disabled.

“We’re taking care of human life. We’re taking care of making sure somebody is happy, we’re making sure somebody is happy enough and feels good enough about themselves to keep wanting to do better. And, they want us to take a wage freeze, they want us to go without health insurance,” says Hamilton.

“As a PA, I know a PA in Springfield that has worked 65 hours a week for over five years and gotten straight time, the whole time. Everybody is going to be forced to hire other people that they don’t really know,” she continues.

Hamilton also says Rauner wants to make a 200-million-dollar cut to area agency on aging programs.

A demonstrator held a sign naming Jacksonville State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer. The union wants Davidsmeyer to “pick a side”, according to a press release.

“We don’t feel that any of them are listening, and it’s time that they do,” she says. “Any other job in this state, if you work overtime, you get overtime pay, time and a half.”

We weren’t able to immediately get a comment from C.D. Davidsmeyer Wednesday afternoon.