Care Worker Union Files Restraining Order Against IL Governor

A labor union representing home health care workers in Illinois has taken legal action to spur government payment of health insurance expenses.

SEIU Healthcare Illinois filed for a temporary restraining order against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Leslie Munger in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Rauner has failed to pay the state’s contribution to the workers’ health fund, ignoring a contract between home care workers in Illinois’ Home Services Program that necessitates the state contribute health insurance benefits for workers, SEIU said in a press release.

Presently, the state owes the health fund $1.5 million from fiscal year 2015, in addition to $11.8 million for the months of July through October in fiscal year 2016, according to SEIU.

Almost 5,000 low-wage personal assistants are set to lose all of their health insurance after Dec. 31 if the state does not honor its contractual obligations to continue health contributions for home health care workers, SEIU said.

“We are seeking an immediate reversal of Gov. Rauner’s decision to strip health insurance from home healthcare workers who rely on this security,” Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, said in a prepared statement.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly claimed there is no spending authority to make the payments due to the months-long budget stalemate, The Associated Press reported.

Written by Mary Kate Nelson