Caregiver Blasts SEIU’s “Greed”

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chicago tribune 2Parents of disabled adults don’t appreciate SEIU’s scheme to grow the union through mandatory “training.”

Illinois politics is too often a master class in masking true intentions.

A legislative push by the Service Employees International Union and some state lawmakers is one such case. Behind the curtain of Senate Bill 2931 is a greedy ploy by the SEIU to make more money at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

The bill mandates that personal assistants, also known as at-home caregivers, attend an in-person training session once a year. Sounds innocent enough, right? But what happened at mandatory caregiver training sessions in 2014 offers clues to the union’s true motives.

“It felt like a union drive,” said Debra Lewis. “They were berating the program, and I learned nothing.”

Lewis and her husband care for their adult son, who suffered a severe brain injury as a child when he was hit by a semitruck outside their home. The Lewises receive an hourly stipend from the state to cover the costs of care — a fraction of what it would cost to house their son in a state-run facility.

Joanne Kocourek and her husband care for their adult daughter, who has two severe genetic disorders.

“There was a very strong push to support the union,” Kocourek said of the mandatory half-day training in 2014. “We had to go. For us it was really frustrating because we had to find someone else to be with our daughter.”

Why was the union pulling parents away from loved ones who need around-the-clock care? The answer was cash.

Per the union’s contract with the state, which expired June 30, 2015, SEIU received a captive audience for a 30-minute membership drive during training…

“They cry out for higher wages and they hurt the families that want no part in this political power play,” Lewis said of the SEIU. “I am so very thankful for what we have. The greed and power this union has sickens me.”

Kocourek shares Lewis’ frustrations.

“Every time they fight for raises and more benefits and win, my daughter loses hours of service,” she said. “They’re not fighting for what’s in the best interest of our loved ones. They’re fighting for what is in the best interest of the union.”