Tonight’s the Night! Come let three of these four serve you again, along with another SU Board member Jerry Justice. Stephanie and Sherri will be at Carbos from 5-6 competing against Nathan and Jerry at Calis. May the best Duo win!
“BATTLE OF THE BARS FOR A CAUSE,” guest bartending night, 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 6, Carbo’s Sports Bar, 402 E. Main St., and Cali’s Bar, 502 E. Main St., both in Streator. Proceeds benefit Streator Unlimited, diabetes awareness, Hardscrabble Lions Club dog park, other community projects. Sponsored by Hardscrabble Lions. 815-252-2091.
Abby Huff and Steve Larson of Exelon Generation present John Mallaney, Diana Huff and Sherri Stephens of Streator Unlimited with a check for $3,000. The funds will support Streator Unlimited’s services to adults with disabilities. They were raised as part of LaSalle Station Women in Nuclear’s “Let’s Get Hairy” outage campaign.
Pictured are Steve Larson, John Mallaney, Abby Huff, Diana Huff and Sherri Stephens.
Great article in the Times today about our annual Quarter Auction. It’s this Saturday, August 27.
There is a building nationwide movement to end subminimum wage, or “piece-rate,” as you may have heard it phrased. New Federal rules make it much more difficult for a person to be paid in such a manner. Though a person can enter our programs in the same way as they always have, they’ll need to obtain a lot of documentation in order to be paid by piece rate.
We have mixed feelings about this. We strongly believe in integrated, community-based employment paid at minimum wage or higher. However, this requires a level of supports that is not supported by our funding. Picture the number of staff it takes to run a job in our workshop…one staff needed for anywhere from 4-10 consumers. In the community you would need a lot more staff, which we can’t afford based on our current level of funding. We want what is best for the people we serve but have to do our best right now based on the resources available. We’d love for that situation to improve.
How does piece rate work at SU? There are a lot of misconceptions. Basically we do a time study to see what an average working in the community could get done in an hour. Then we take off 15% for things that might generally slow down a person and then take off another percentage for fatigue if a person is doing the job for a full day. That varies with the physical intensity of the job. Then we divide that new total of pieces per hour into the local prevailing wage (basically what a person doing similar work would be paid after their first raise). Some of our consumers end up making minimum wage anyway because they are able to work quickly. Some make less because they aren’t able to go fast, or are learning how to focus or need other supports.
Sometimes when we bid a job for companies, they are surprised we are not a lot cheaper. But prevailing wage doesn’t mean an unfair wage–it just means there’s an allowance so that people who aren’t able to work at typical productivity levels can still work and we can afford to pay them. For many of the people we serve, work is about pride and self-worth moreso than a large paycheck. For some, though, our supports allow them to earn the income they need to live.