SPRINGFIELD – To continue his commitment to union workers across Illinois, State Senator Javier Cervantes and members of the Senate Appropriations-Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing Wednesday to discuss a measure that would further protect the labor rights of frontline and direct support staff.

“With this legislation we are making sure residents with developmental disabilities do not see an interruption in their services from direct care service agencies,” said Cervantes. “This applies to programs in the Division for Developmental Disabilities and provides workers with collective bargaining tools while benefiting the workplace environment for many of our essential services in Illinois.”

To ensure the continued, uninterrupted provision of services to people with developmental disabilities in Illinois, Cervantes is leading a measure to bring this type of agreement to the state’s home- and community-based services programs.

The new legislation, Senate Bill 2035, would create the Ensuring Essential Services Act. The measure would require any contract entered into between the Illinois Department of Human Services and a direct care service agency to include an assurance that IDHS will enter into a an agreement with the agency’s frontline and direct support staff.

“Putting unions in place would ensure that all employees are on the same page and are following the same guidelines,” said Cervantes. “This gives them the freedom to speak out and advocate through the labor agreement and gives employees more protections in the workplace.”

Cervantes looks forward to continuing his advocacy on behalf of workers during ongoing budget negotiations over the next several weeks.