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Springfield Housing Authority Workers Fight for Fair Wages, Better Contract

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AFSCME-represented workers at the Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) in Illinois are making their voices heard in their fight for better wages and a fair contract.

The sidewalks in front of the SHA facility were packed with dozens of protesters – AFSCME Local 3982 (Council 31) members and allies – in late July. Dedicated staff members are pushing for a new contract with better pay and improvements in their health care. Seven months into their fight for a new contract, they’re making headway.

SHA claims to be “changing lives one key at a time,” but it doesn’t do a good job of taking care of its own employees. SHA staff members work with low-income families to provide affordable housing. Sadly, many SHA staff qualify for the very same low-income housing programs they help provide.

Jessica Jay, a staff representative for Council 31, told WAND News that SHA employees make $10,000-$20,000 less than their counterparts in other areas of Illinois.

Some earn “the same as people who come in for housing,” Jay told the television station. “We’ve even had employees who’ve had to resign so that they could apply for benefits.”

Contract negotiations are continuing. SHA workers seek a 4 percent pay increase. The agency has offered only a 2 percent raise, which would still leave SHA employees well below similar housing agency employees elsewhere in Illinois, according to the State Journal-Register in Springfield.