Government
8:59 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

State homecare workers calling for wage increase

There are thousands of personal support workers in Illinois -- homecare workers who provide support to developmentally disabled people, and those with other special needs.  Advocates say the average wage for the field is just over nine dollars, and they're calling for an increase.  Charlotte Cronin's son Daniel is 28.  Cronin says his severe developmental disabilities make it difficult to care for him by herself. Cronin says the personal support workers, like the ones her son relies on, deserve better pay.

 "They are the glue that holds his life together. In return, they are paid such low wages that it begs the imagination. They deserve better. They deserve much, much better. We should be ashamed."

 Some Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to increase the minimum wage for these workers over the next few years, until it reaches $13 an hour. The legislators say a majority of homecare professionals are minority females who have to either work overtime hours, take on a second job, or fall back on public assistance. They say a boost in the wage for these workers would solve that income gap.