Illinois Nursing Home Workers Fighting for $15 an hour Wage

Nursing home daily rates are usually above $100 per day and can be higher than $400 per day, as the Caregiverlist Nursing Home Costs directory shows. Many Illinois nursing homes charge more than $300 per day for a private room and the median cost for a single room is $208 per day. Studies show that nursing home workers are among the most underpaid working women and men in the country with 1 in 3 nursing assistants relying on public assistance for some of their family's living needs.

Chicago Illinois nursing home workers participated in rallies on Thursday, April 14, 2017, to showcase their need for a higher hourly pay rate, seeking $15 per hour. Politicians, including two high-profile Democratic candidates for governor, Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker, joined the rallies.

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The Paraprofessional Health Institute reports in their research that nursing assistants and workers providing laundry, food and housekeeping services are underpaid, often viewed "as a cost to be managed rather than an asset to invest." Keeping the wage floor low leads to 50% of nursing home workers leaving their positions each year and adds to the dramatically growing gap in available trained long-term care providers.

Nursing homes employ Certified Nursing Assistants (C.N.A.'s) who must meet minimum training requirements and pass a state certification exam to care for residents.

  • 91% of Nursing Assistants are Women
  • 1 in 3 C.N.A.'s rely on taxpayer-funded public benefits such as food stamps, energy assistance or Medicaid
  • Insufficient staffing levels contribute to high injury rates and high turnover
  • The average turnover for nursing assistants exceeded 50% in 2012
  • More than 1.3 million older Americans and people with disabilities currently reside in nursing homes
  • 10,000 Americans turn age 65 daily and the number of older Americans age 85+ will triple by 2050
How difficult would it be for a nursing home to pay more? Medicaid, the government program for low-income seniors, reimburses nursing homes for their fees for seniors on Medicaid. Medicare, for all seniors age 65 and over, pays for up-to-100 days in a nursing home. Others must private pay for the rooms. Review the cost of nursing homes near you. 

C.N.A.'s continue to be in demand and can always find local hospitals, nursing homes, and senior care companies hiring. Learn more about caregiver and C.N.A. jobs and training near you and submit a job application to be considered for openings. Caregivers may provide one-on-one care in the home for a senior and gain skills with an online caregiver training course. C.N.A.'s working in nursing homes may care for as many as 12 or more residents.


Caregiver Pay Rates March 2015

The "Caregiverlist" caregivers submit their recent pay rate upon applying for professional jobs on Caregiverlist's Career Center.

March, 2015, survey results are in and the average caregiver pay rate continues to be $10 per hour.  Remember, all senior caregivers on Caregiverlist are professional caregivers employed with senior care companies paying all payroll taxes and benefits, as required by law.  Employers contribute from $2 to $4 per hour for a caregiver's payroll taxes in addition to providing training, care management and support for the caregiver and the families receiving senior care.

 

 

Senior Caregiver Pay Rates July 2014

Senior caregiver employees report their pay rates to Caregiverlist each month through their caregiver job application. The following results reflect July 2014. Caregiverlist advocates for caregivers to be paid as employees with full benefits and incentives. Anyone interested in becoming a senior caregiver can apply on Caregiverlist's Job Application.

 

 

Caregiver Pay Rates for 2013 Above Minimum Wage

Senior caregivers assist seniors as companion caregivers and nursing aides working in nursing homes, assisted living communities and senior home care agencies.  Hospitals also hire certified nursing aides.  The pay rate for companion caregivers and nursing aides for 2013 have continued to rise and remain above minimum wage for all professional senior caregivers.

The Caregiverlist® pay survey results records the pay rates of 34,959 professional senior caregivers.  Senior caregivers who work for a senior home care agency provide one-on-one caregiving services while nursing aides working for nursing homes and hospitals usually care for anywhere from 10 to 15 residents or patients.  C.N.A. staffing ratios of nursing homes are reported in the health inspection reports conducted every 15 months and can be found in the Caregiverlist® Nursing Home Directory.  More senior caregivers are needed and anyone with a caring personality may apply to a senior care job in their area on the Caregiverlist® Career Center.

 

Paycheck-to-Paycheck HBO Documentary Profile a Certified Nursing Aide Employee

Certified Nursing Aides are the backbone of caregiving in nursing homes and other senior care facilities.  But their pay continues to be the lowest for any nursing home employee.  Maria Shriver and Oprah Winfrey are showcasing the issue of low pay in the HBO Documentary titled "Paycheck to Paycheck:  The Life and Times..."

In this documentary, Certified Nursing Aide Katrina Gilbert is followed as she juggles a full-time "back-breaking job" and raises 3 children as a single Mom.  Daily work as a C.N.A. requires constant movement and assisting seniors with meals, bathing and activities.  While working as a nursing aide requires professional training, once the job begins, the nursing aide is in the lowest paying position at a senior care facility and often works on holidays and picks up extra schedules.  Katrina's pay is $9.54 per hour and she did receive a pay increase of .14 cents per hours, the documentary notes at the end.

Caregivers providing one-on-one care in a home average $10 per hour pay and above and have the advantage of working with just one senior.  Nursing homes may provide more benefits as they may be part of a larger corporation, but not always.

Learn how to become a senior caregiver and for those seeking to become a C.N.A., remember that this is the first step in becoming a L.P.N. or R.N.

 

 

 

 

 

Certified Nursing Aide Salary Advice — by C.N.A.s

Senior caregivers, especially C.N.A.s, have a lot of love for their profession. They have to — the hours are long, the work is tough, and the money...well, we all agree that there are better-paying jobs out there. And while there are few professions that affect so many lives in so many ways, let’s face it, a gal (or guy) has got to eat.

While scouting C.N.A. salaries across the country, our friends at Scrubs Magazine found that the highest paid spots tend to be big cities like NYC, Los Angeles and DC, while smaller cities (especially in the South) offer lower hourly rates. So they posed this question: As a C.N.A., how do you feel about the pay where you live? Do you think the pay would be better if you moved to a different region? What tips do you have for a C.N.A. looking to make some extra money?

C.N.A.s across the country chimed in and have this to say about pay:

Portland, ME:
“I worked at a nursing home right outside Portland, Maine for a few years while living up there and I made $17.50. That was weekend pay but I also was per diem so that bumped me up a few bucks and I was ALWAYS looking for extra shifts that were posted because they were either double time, +$10 or +$6 an hour. C.N.A.s have to be crafty! Always keep your eyes out for how to make THE MOST money because we work very hard and do hard work! Companies will always try to screw you so you have to be on top it!”
-SassyCathy

Burlington, VT:
“I kept on applying for jobs in hospitals and was offered one six months later in Vermont. I worked as a C.N.A./PCT for two years in LTC and at a large hospital in Boston. I have a BSN and a BS in biology. The job market in Mass. is horrible, for both new grads and experienced nurses. Vermont, on the other hand, has a great need for nurses. It’s still competitive to get a job as a new grad, but once your foot is in the door you can move about to any specialty you desire.” -Yllomia

Boston, MA:
“I made around $14/hr as a tech at Tufts. However, working there (or any hospital) in nursing school is no guarantee of a position there as an RN. I graduated last year, and they were unable to give me (or any other graduating techs) anything. Having a C.N.A. position is a leg up, but is by no means a guaranteed in, so please consider that before signing yourself up for a long commute and expensive parking.” -NurseKatie08

New York City, NY:
“Here in Long Island, NY you can make up to $18.75 an hour. That’s what my friend is making at a nursing home. Definitely don’t rule them out.” -*Miss*

Albany, NY:
“In NY, it’s $14-$17 to start. Plus shift differential. Usually 3-11 p.m. is $1.50 extra, and 11-7 a.m. is $2.00 extra. Of course, this is evened out by the cost of living being so high here, but if you have the same benefits in a cheaper living situation, this could make all the difference!”
  -Paws2people

“I’m in NY and started at $15, I’m at almost $16 now. Evenings are 10% diff and overnights are 15% diff. Every little bit!” -peppercat21

“I live in upstate NY. I commute 45 minutes away to a large hospital in Sayre, PA. I was offered 3 positions immediately after graduation. I work on a step-down cardiac floor (yes, it is a specialty). I have 2 bachelor’s, one is a BSN another in psychology. We do hire new grads, they hire I’d say at least 20-30 a year, hospital wide. I’ve almost completed my first year. It has been a whirlwind; school does not teach you half of what the “real world” is going to teach you, it is so completely different! I plan on becoming a Nurse Practitioner.” 
-cardiacrocks

Newark, NJ:
“Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing requires nursing assistant skills before you begin their program. They give the course for the month of July before the program begins in August. You can work across the street at the hospital while you continue on to get your RN. The cost of the nursing assistant course is only $500. It is in Montclair/Glen Ridge. It is not a certification course, but you will still be able to work for the same pay as a C.N.A. The hospital starts you off with almost $13 for the first 3 months, and then you get your eval.” -Hydakins

Philadelphia, PA:
“I live in Southeastern PA. When I first started back in 2004-2005, I was paid $9.72 an hour. The pay was a bit low, but they offered a full benefit package as well as paid vacation/sick time. My last position at an LTC in 2008 I was as a pool/floater and was paid $13 an hour during the week and $14 an hour for weekends. No medical benefits or I would have had to take a $3 pay cut! Pay attention to those sorts of details and decide what’s best for you.”  -asun21ta

Baltimore, MD:
“I am a tech at GBMC. I’m also a junior year nursing student. When I started working there almost 4 years ago the starting pay for techs/nursing students was $10.50 an hour. Now I believe it’s between $11.50 – $12 an hour. I just want to let you know that without patient care experience you can’t expect to start off making a lot of money. When I finished the C.N.A./G.N.A. course I was working in a nursing home making $8 an hour.” -jenawade25

Wilmington, DE:
“Christiana Care is a great place to work. There are endless options as to what you may want to do there. I worked at Wilmington Hospital for 7 years and left for 3 to work for private practice. I went back to Wilmington because I missed the bedside. I’m now a PCC at Christiana. They do own everything and they are lacking in the HR dept. I’ve seen a few horror stories from people who have gotten injured. However, there is some pride in working for the biggest healthcare organization in Delaware. Even the change from Wilmington to Christiana has been huge. I used to say “Wilmington Hospital” and people would say, “Where, St. Francis?” No one had any clue that Wilmington was part of Christiana. I swore I’d never go to Christiana, but I took the chance and I’m there now and I am pretty happy. Things could always be better. One hospital versus another? They all have their good and bad sides.”  -GreenEyedNurse

Washington, D.C.:
“Children’s in DC, Washing Hospital Center, GW all hire CNAs. At Children’s they are called PCTs, Patient Care Technicians. If you are a nursing student and have already had your first clinical there are other types of opportunities in the role of the CNA, one-on-one with a nurse, but still a C.N.A.” -RNNPICU

Providence, RI:
“I JUST got hired at hospital for my first C.N.A. job on a med/surg floor. With no experience, it’s $12.49/hr. It’s 3rd shift though, so I get a $2.50 differential and on weekends I get an extra $1.50. With experience it’s more like $14 and change an hour, plus any differentials. Low, yes, but higher than most nursing homes. I’ve interviewed at places that were barely $10/hr!” -kelsey.kristine

“I work at a hospital in RI and with no experience, I make $12.49 an hour, plus differential. 3rd shift(what I was hired for) is an extra $2.50/hour, weekends are $1.75 and I believe evenings are $1.50. If I work my regularly scheduled hours any 3rd shift I pick up is time 1/2 which is very, very nice! Most nursing homes I interviewed at were under $10/hour. I made more working at a coffee shop!” -kelsey.kristine

When you apply for a C.N.A. or C.H.H.A job through Caregiverlist, your caregiver resume is seen by the top quality Home Care Agencies. It only takes 5 minutes to fill out our application. Senior care companies nationwide hire new Part-time, Full-time and Live-in staff weekly from Caregiverlist.

Minimum Wage Increase by $3 Proposed in New Legislation

Minimum wage in the U.S.A. is currently $7.25 per hour.  State laws passed to increase minimum wage in a state does trump the national minimum wage law as does city municipalities with special legislation passed, such as the cities of San Francisco and San Jose who have both increased minimum wage for workers in their cities.  Caregiverlist provides the minimum wage in each state.

Caregivers working for professional senior care companies have an average pay nationwide of $10 per hour, higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

Payroll taxes are also paid on top of the hourly rate, providing for unemployment benefits (seniors who need care will eventually get better and no longer need care or pass away and so having the safety net of knowing unemployment insurance will be provided while a caregiver finds a new job is an important benefit for caregivers).  Worker's compensation insurance and Social Security benefits are also paid for on top of the caregiver salary.

The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, the name of the proposed legislation, would also gradually raise the minimum wage for tipped workers which currently stands at $2.13 per hour.  This would be the first raise for this group of workers in more than 20 years........I was a waitress to pay my way through college and I remember the $2 dollars and change was just enough to pay a bit towards the taxes.  The proposed increase would make the tipped worker wage 70% of the minimum wage.  

As senior caregivers are needed for new positions at senior care companies nationwide, passing a higher federal minimum wage will only help promote quality pay for quality care for America's seniors.

State minimum wage laws vary, with many states requiring $8 or more per hour already.  Review state minimum wage laws.

Caregivers earn more than minimum wage, even with no formal caregiving experience.  Apply for a senior caregiver job, either part-time or full-time, in your area and refer-a-friend to be a caregiver as more caregivers are always needed to keep up with the growing caregiving needs as our senior population increases.  Caregivers can obtain online caregiver training to become a professional certified senior caregiver through the Professional Association of Caregivers.

 

 

 

Caregiver Pay Average $10 per Hour and $120 per day

Caregiver pay results from the Caregiverlist Employment Index compiled from survey results of more than 18,000 professional caregiver job applicants in 2012 shows $10 per hour and $120 per day as the national average for professional caregiver pay.  

Caregiver pay at this rate is higher than the national minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and higher than the majority of minimum wages nationwide (states and cities may pass their own minimum wage laws and as long as they are more than the national minimum wage requirement, they will over-ride the national law). You may review minimum wage laws nationwide on Caregiverlist's By-state section.

Ten states passed an increase in minimum wage effective January, 2013, including Arizona raising their minimum wage to $7.80.  Other states raising minimum wages included Missouri increasing to $7.35 per hour, Colorado increasing to $7.78 per hour Ohio increasing to $7.85 per hour.

Meanwhile, two municipal cities in California require a much higher minimum wage, with San Francisco's minimum wage at $10.55 and San Jose's minimum wage at $10 per hour.  Of course, cost of living is higher in these cities which also enjoy being located in Silicon Valley, home of a higher percentage of millionaires due to the luck of the stock options for employees working for the fast-growth technology companies.

Caregivers will continue to be needed in the growing senior care industry which has experienced a 40% increase in the number of senior home care companies since 2008.

Becoming a professional senior caregiver requires a caring personality, successfully passing a criminal background check and basic caregiver training which can be obtained online or from the hiring senior care company.  Apply to be a senior caregiver with a professional senior care company in your area or refer-a-friend to be a senior caregiver and win a $50 gift certificate.

 

 

 

Lilly Ledbetter Law and Senior Caregivers

Lilly Ledbetter was applauded last night at the Democratic National Convention and has a special connection with senior caregivers.  The Lilly Ledbetter law became the first piece of legislation - the first law - signed by President Barack Obama.  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 stating that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action.  And right now, senior caregivers are faced with the challenges of maintaining their work positions while also performing caregiver duties.

Lilly Ledbetter worked for Good year Tire & Rubber Company  and filed the pay discrimination suit just 6 months prior to her early retirement in 1998 - partly because she simply did not know previously that she was being paid much less than men who held the same position that she did.  The Supreme Court used this technicality to deny her lawsuit although Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg did propose interpreting the law according to the date of the last paycheck.

Caregivers for seniors are usually women - in fact the oldest adult daughter typically takes the role of caregiver for her parents.  Studies (and reality) show that women will miss out on work promotions and career opportunities because they must be absent for caregiving. 

The Family Caregiver Alliance research determined that 65.7 million caregivers make up 29% of the U.S. adult population providing caer to someone who is ill, disabled or aged.  Caregivers of people age 50 years and older are 68% female.  While men will often become the caregiver for a spouse with memory loss, studies show a relatively equitable distribution of caregiving between men and women although female caregivers spend more time providing care than men do (21.9 vs. 17.4 hours per week).  And 36% of women caregivers handle the most difficult tasks such as bathing, toileting and dressing.  Male caregivers are more likely to assist with finances, arranging care and other less budernsome tasks.

These are stereo-types but highlights the bigger issue which is that female caregivers are more likely than males to have made alternative work arrangements:  taking a less demanding job (16% of females vs. 6% of males), giving up work entirely (12% vs. 3%), losing job related benefits (7% vs. 3%).  Overall 70% of working caregivers made some job change to accommodate their caregiving role with 9% giving up work entirely and 3% taking early retirement.

Caregiving has shown to reduce work productivity by 18.5% and increase the likelihood of leaving the workplace.  The 2008 economic downturn had a harsh effect on the working family caregiver with 6 in 10 caregivers experssing they are less comfortable with risking taking time off from work to care for a family member or friend.  And 51% expressed added stress caused by their need to care for a loved one when faced with increased work challenges.

Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers provide care 1 to 4 years more than caregivers caring for someone with an illness other than Alzheimer's disease and are more likely to provide care for 5 years or more.

Lilly Ledbetter paved the way for fair pay for women and regardless of your political party, it is worth noting she stood up for this right.  There are both men and women who are somtimes plugged into jobs for reasons beyond their talents.  We won't change this anytime soon but we can stand up for fair pay when the talents are the same according to performance reviews and years of work, which was the case for Lilly Ledbetter. 

As 77 million Baby Boomers retire and create the largest senior population ever, it will become necessary to have more ways to accomodate the need for family caregivers and to provide fair pay for professional caregivers.  Living longer comes with a price tag and living longer with an age-related disease, such as Alzheimer's disease, comes with an added cost of loss in work or loss in advancement in a career for those providing the care.  As nursing homes can cost as much as $300 or more per day, it is important to begin valuing the cost of caregiving for family caregivers and create new ways to provide for senior care.  Right now, seniors with financial challenges associated with caregiving needs only have the option of spending down to qualify for Medicaid which does pay for a nursing home ongoing.  Caregiverlist provides the Medicaid financial qualifications in each state as so many seniors have come to us for this information - it is easy to see that the burdens of care can take a financial toll on families.

 

 

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Senior Caregiver and C.N.A. Pay

 

Senior care has been identified as a top employer for the coming decade, as the large Baby Boomer generation moves into their retirement years and will live longer lives while needing more care.

Part-time and full-time senior caregiving positions are available as senior care companies hire new caregivers and Certified Nursing Aides each week in order to keep up with their staffing needs.  Seniors may quickly be discharged from a hospital or nursing home after a stroke or hip replacement and require more care.

Senior caregiving delivers fulfillment beyond a paycheck but at the same time, a paycheck is important.

Caregiverlist provides a detailed overview of caregiver and C.N.A. pay rates in their C.N.A. and Caregiver Pay Guide.

This comprehensive guide allows you to review caregiver and nursing assistant pay rates in each state.  You may apply for a caregiver job in your area in our Career Center and also create a customized caregiver resume.  Certified Nursing Assistants can apply for a Certified Nursing Aide job near them.

Seniors who are still active and are looking to earn some extra income may also consider becoming a companion caregiver.  Many times seniors with memory loss just require companion caregivers to keep their daily activities on track.

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