“No one should be surprised that Bruce Rauner set foot in the Illinois governor’s race recently by trampling all over the state’s working families. Despite the billionaire venture capitalist’s efforts to portray himself as a regular guy, he took a special pot shot at our union, which represents low-wage health care and child-care workers throughout Illinois. It was a glaring illustration of how little Rauner understands the plight of the state’s poor and working class.
Our members earn low wages — sometimes poverty wages — and they don’t belong to the state pension systems that Rauner decries. In return for this meager living, they provide vital health care to hospital patients, nursing-home residents, seniors and people with disabilities, and help educate low-income children through child care and early-learning programs.
These are precisely the people who have been shortchanged by Illinois’ chronic budget morass, and yet Rauner somehow claims they have too much power in Springfield. While there is no doubt that the union has been instrumental in improving our members’ wages, working conditions and the quality of care for thousands of seniors and people with disabilities, these workers remain poor and cannot equal the power of Rauner’s billions.
Rauner’s anti-union vitriol is little more than a rich man’s distaste for the less-fortunate.”
(By permission of Keith Kellher, president, SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana.)