Potential wage increase for home care workers - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Potential wage increase for home care workers

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WSIL -- A pair of identical bills are moving through the Illinois legislature that would raise the minimum wage for home care workers from $10.67 an hour to $13. The legislation includes Senate Bill 2019 and House Bill 2776

A local woman who relies on home care services is Zeigler resident Mary Pavloff, who has been living in the same home for nearly her whole life. She had a devastating accident two years ago, "I fell and I broke a piece off my spine." 

Since then, a home care worker comes to help with chores and errands for two hours a day Monday through Friday. "They do my laundry. They take me to the grocery store, vacuuming, dusting," Pavloff explains. 

One of those home care workers is Davina Deere, who says Pavloff is one of her easier clients, but says others can be physically demanding, "Some people could be paralyzed, they just might not be able to walk. I might have to clean him up four times, if not more, during the course of the day."

She says the job can also take a mental toll when clients are difficult, "They don't really want us there but need somebody there. It can be extremely stressful." 

Deere says a $2.33 cents raise an hour would be helpful for her family, especially since she hasn't been able to save for retirement, "For me, I just makes ends meet with what I'm getting right now."

Pavloff says her workers deserve the pay increase, "I definitely do. They do. Those girls work hard, they do." 

Without their care, Pavloff adds, she would be in a nursing home like after her accident when she was going through physical therapy, "I hope that I never have to go back to one."

Instead, she wants to stay in her home for many more years to come. The bills also protects worker benefits so that paid time off, payment for training, health insurance and transportation payment, cannot be reduced due to the pay increase.

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