State Journal Register: The caregivers are the ones owed a higher wage

Op-Ed By Greg Kelly
State Journal Register, July 28, 2017

In a recent online article from WCIA-TV titled “Rauner pays new staff lucrative salaries,” the governor said Illinois citizens “owe” his highly-paid staff “a debt of gratitude.” He’s dead wrong. Gov. Bruce Rauner owes our families a $15 minimum wage. ...

Our workers aren’t the only ones speaking out for a $15 minimum wage in Illinois — so are small business owners. Kelly Vlahakis-Hanks, CEO of Addison’s Earth Friendly Products, pays her workers at least $17 an hour. Since raising the pay rate, turnover in the 300-worker firm has been cut in half. David Borris, owner of Hel’s Kitchen Catering in Northbrook, supports a $15 minimum wage in part because it increases demand in the economy.

SB 81, the bill to steadily raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2022, is on the governor’s desk. He’s called the bill “extreme.” ...

Greg Kelley is the president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

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