Ghislaine Bazile, CNA, is Voting for the Freedom to Earn a Living WageOctober 10, 2018
Have you met the queen? Her real name is Ghislaine Bazile but she’s affectionately known as the “queen” at the nursing home where she works in North Miami Beach. She earned the nickname because residents at the nursing home say she treats them so well they feel like royalty. Bazile, who has worked as a certified nursing assistant for the past 20 years, takes pride in her work because she’s providing compassionate care to seniors and other residents. But instead of a queen, she sometimes feels like a pauper because the wages are low.
“As a single mom, I had to work two jobs for many years in order to pay my bills and feed my daughter,” said Bazlie. “If the minimum wage is increased, it would help millions of workers like me who make less than $15. That’s why I will be voting for candidates who believe in our freedom to earn good wages so working people can live with dignity and take care of their families.”
Wage inequality has become a key issue in this election. It’s largely due to the fight for $15 movement which has galvanized workers across the country to demand better pay and respect. Healthcare workers have joined this fight. The average hourly pay for a CNA is just $11 per hour—considerably less than the $19 per hour needed to afford a market rate two-bedroom apartment in Florida according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Other basic living expenses like food and transportation are also high. As a result, low income residents are getting squeezed.
“The average CEO makes 371 times more than the average worker,” said Bazile. “Their sky-high profits are borne on the backs of workers like you and me who contribute so much but get so little in return. We need to hold elected officials accountable who cater to the rich and neglect the needs of working families. Let’s stand together and make our voices heard on election day.”
Election day is November 6. Early voting starts in a few weeks in communities across the state. Go to 1199SEIU.org/FloridaElection to find the dates and times for early voting in your area as well as information about opportunities to volunteer and help get out the vote for SEIU Florida endorsed candidates.