Forced unionization of in-home care workers back on Minnesota agenda

posted at 10:41 am on December 13, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Remember this lovely chestnut from 2011?  Governor Mark Dayton tried to bypass the Minnesota legislature to force an organizing election among in-home health workers funded by Medicaid, and got slapped down by a judge for violating the separation of powers in his attempt to rule by fiat.  Now that Minnesotans have given Dayton a legislature controlled by the DFL, unions want the legislature to force an organizing election in order to grab a new revenue stream from taxpayers:

One of the state’s largest unions will be approaching the all-DFL government for the authority to unionize thousands of in-home personal care assistants – the people who care for elderly and disasbled [sic] people in their homes.

The Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, was one of the unions that sought last year to organize in-home child care workers. That effort failed, after running into opposition from the Republican-controlled Legisalture [sic] and the courts. …

This year’s effort could affect thousands of care workers. It would not apply to those directly employed by agencies, who already have the right to organize unions; rather, it would cover those in the so-called “self-directed” program, in which the workers are hired and fired by the person receiving the care.

In other words, there is no “management” with which the union will negotiate.  The workers get paid in large part through Medicaid based on federal and state government formulas, and are hired individually by the disabled and their families.  A not-insignificant number of these providers are the family members themselves who stay home rather than take jobs, accepting the subsidies so that they can care for their family members. These people would be not only have to give up opportunities to earn a living to provide that care, but then would also be forced to pay the SEIU for doing so.

And guess what?  Most of them won’t even get a vote on unionization if the DFL follows the same path as Dayton’s executive order last year, as Tina Korbe wrote:

But here’s the catch: The only child care providers eligible to vote on whether to unionize are those providers that are state-licensed and state-subsidized. So a small fraction of the providers will vote to unionize — and then, more than likely, all Minnesota childcare providers will be forced to pay union dues.

Open Market’s Trey Kovacs explained this at the time:

To unionize a class of workers, Minnesota’s Labor Relations Act calls for a majority of workers to vote for union representation. In the vote to unionize child care providers, the majority of workers are excluded from voting. Out of 11,000 child care providers, less than 4,300 are eligible to vote. Eligible voters are state-licensed and -subsidized child care providers. To make matters worse Minnesota is a forced-unionism state. Gov. Dayton’s E.O. is unclear if the 6,000-plus child care providers ineligible to vote will be forced to pay their “fair share” dues to the unions. Given Gov. Dayton’s history of union favoritism, there is little doubt compulsory dues will be forced on all child care providers.

Bear in mind, too, that these workers have considered themselves independent operators until now.  The lawsuit that stopped Dayton’s EO came from this group of workers, not from their clients.  This effort interferes with the private contractual relationship between client and provider on the basis that any state subsidy indirectly or directly received makes these workers public employees — an absurd claim, but one which we can bet that the DFL-controlled legislature will cheer.

Elections do have consequences.  Minnesota families and taxpayers are about to discover some of them, and pretty quickly, too.


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Can’t wait to see the unions protesting the 16 year old scab trying to earn a few bucks to go to the movies.

ButterflyDragon on December 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

I’m sure that Harry Belafonte will advise Gov Dayton to just throw any of those opposing the measure or those refusing to pay dues to a union that they wish not to join in jail, as he as to Obama relative to the pesky Republicans that want entitlement reform.

When The Left opposes, The Left says:

“Resist, We Much!!!”

When The Right opposes, The Left says:

“Take those SOBs out and throw ‘em in jail like a third-world dicKtator! Man up, elected Democrats!”

Scratch a leftist and you’ll find exactly what they claim that they are not: An anti-choice, totalitarian Fascist.

Resist We Much on December 13, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Minnesota- Nothing but California without the beaches. The state that Wisconsin likes to cuddle with.

Michigan tried this attempt to steal more money for the SEIU. We saw this week how that turned out.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2012 at 10:52 AM

I have zero compassion for blue states anymore. I didn’t do anything to help the blue staters after Sandy, and I don’t feel for these people. A lot of them probably voted for Dayton. All you reds in these blue states, I’m sorry. You just have the misfortune of living in the wrong place.

msupertas on December 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I have zero compassion for blue states anymore. I didn’t do anything to help the blue staters after Sandy, and I don’t feel for these people. A lot of them probably voted for Dayton. All you reds in these blue states, I’m sorry. You just have the misfortune of living in the wrong place.

msupertas on December 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I’m with you completely. If a child keeps doing something that will harm them, you get them to stop being stupid. If a state keeps electing the same idiots, you stop supporting them.

Happy Nomad on December 13, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Hey, msupertas, good point. But the red states are being “attacked” as well. Think of all those liberals who relocated from New York to Florida. Same with CA to Texas & beyond. They bring their liberal progressive agenda with them & vote accordingly.

Belle on December 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Minnesota, California, and Illinois deserve the government they get, they vote for them consistently. I just hope the politicians don’t screw up those states so much that THEY decide to move to other states and run for office. First of all, they couldn’t get elected in most, but secondly, with Pravda and Izvestia, the voters may never be informed of their records and they could slip through the cracks.

Obviously, this country needs a lot less of this style government and a lot more Republicans. Perhaps, if they ever decide to deal with their massive media problem, we can start winning elections. Until they do, they will always be dodging the media fodder thrown at them to obscure, not only the issues, but also their solutions for the issues.

bflat879 on December 13, 2012 at 11:05 AM

swimming upstream will get tiring very soon, either the productive people improve their ranks or they move on. Good luck Ed.

DanMan on December 13, 2012 at 11:07 AM

The left does not even attempt to hide its plan to unionize for its coffers.

The sheeple are doing the math and having a moment of clarity when dues are added up.

RTW is an idea that is becoming an idelogy of democrats who see unions for what they are.

RAGIN CAJUN on December 13, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Same with CA to Texas & beyond. They bring their liberal progressive agenda with them & vote accordingly.

Belle on December 13, 2012 at 11:02 AM

That is why we strongly support Perry not giving in to the Medicaid expansion here in Texas. Honey attracts flies.

DanMan on December 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM

Dear Lord get me outta here!

gophergirl on December 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Good. The libs who live here wanted more crazy shiite from the nutbags they elected, so take it good and hard and no whining. I want the local “DFL” to cram as much crap as possible straight down their throats.

I’m about two weeks from all but disappearing from the economy, so you boneheads who voted for Dayton, Franken, and the other leftist morons can start ponying up for everything. Enjoy!

Bishop on December 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

Yeah if it passes you own it Mn, you own it.

jake49 on December 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Dear Lord get me outta here!

gophergirl on December 13, 2012 at 11:11 AM

When it was a good idea to keep illegal aliens out of the United States Marxist pretending to be Democrats and Republicans refused to build a wall along the border, now that we are all comrades in the new United Socialist States of America they will undoubtedly build a wall along our borders to keep those not wishing to be Marxist from fleeing the country.

SWalker on December 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Considering NLRB’s ruling that a nursing home had to rehire workers who deliberately endangered patients – can you imagine what happens when they will be able to demand that a homebound patient be forced to continue to employee a caregiver who has abused or exploited them.

2nd Ammendment Mother on December 13, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Guv Granholm did this by executive order in MI her last year in office. Just crammed this down the throats of these low paid workers. Gov Snyder overturned this when we elected him in 2010. Then the newly elected GOP legislature passed a bill to prohibit this forced unionization without a vote. Most of us in MI hated what Granholm did. Thus when the unions tried to cram forced unionization into our constitution, we voted that down 58 to 42.

Needless to say, unions are wearing out their welcome in MI. That is why right to work sailed so easily into law here this week. And the unions can dream about winning power back in 2014 but it won’t happen.

karenhasfreedom on December 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Hey now. Obama voters need recourse if caught in Grandma’s back yard, smoking dope, as Grandma is inside, falling down.

The American people said so, November 6, 2012.

MNHawk on December 13, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Has anyone made the effort to advise the world of just how much money the unions have. What do they pay in taxes? What do their “executives” make and what are their perks? Inquiring minds want to know. I’d be willing to bet that the union members retirements are in a similar “lock box” to the tin can holding the Social Security loot.

Cindy Munford on December 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

I never understand how unions can just help themselves to a cut out of somebody’s paycheck. Anyone else who did the same thing that unions do daily would end up in an orange jumpsuit.

Murf76 on December 13, 2012 at 11:32 AM

why does that picture remind me of Mel Brooks in Blazing Saddles?

teejk on December 13, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Cindy Munford, Unions pay ZERO taxes and get Obamacare for free until 2018. They have a waiver from the government to not have to pay for Obamacare.

BroncosRock on December 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

That is why we strongly support Perry not giving in to the Medicaid expansion here in Texas. Honey attracts flies.
DanMan on December 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM

So does a steaming pile of dung.

jawkneemusic on December 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

…the media WILL BE ALL OVER THIS HYPOCRICY 24/7 the next few days…like they have the Michigan story the last 3 days!

KOOLAID2 on December 13, 2012 at 12:07 PM

LOL
BIG Labor tried this sleazy move a few years ago here in Michigan – the BLUEST of States. If it didn’t fly here with Dems in charge, it won’t fly anywhere.
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on December 13, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I never understand how unions can just help themselves to a cut out of somebody’s paycheck. Anyone else who did the same thing that unions do daily would end up in an orange jumpsuit.

It’s in the contract. Wanna make somethin’ of it? (And you don’t even have to agree to the contract in a close-shop state.)

No Truce With Kings on December 13, 2012 at 12:25 PM

BroncosRock on December 13, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I was pretty sure that was the case on taxes, doesn’t it seem like wider knowledge of these little nuggets would be helpful?

Cindy Munford on December 13, 2012 at 12:34 PM

When it was a good idea to keep illegal aliens out of the United States Marxist pretending to be Democrats and Republicans refused to build a wall along the border, now that we are all comrades in the new United Socialist States of AmericaHotel California they will undoubtedly build a wall along our borders to keep those not wishing to be Marxist from fleeing the country.

SWalker on December 13, 2012 at 11:15 AM

States can checkout anytime they like, but they can never leave.

Puerto Rico should really, really think long and hard about becoming the 51st state. Once in, there’s no getting out…as many red states are learning.

Resist We Much on December 13, 2012 at 12:40 PM

The Left is a destructive bacteria. They never stop. Ever. The Right just wants to live, work, go about its life and leave others alone. Not the Left. It eats away endlessly. Most of us have no ida what we’re fighting or how to fight it.

rrpjr on December 13, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Elections do have consequences. Minnesota families and taxpayers are about to discover some of them, and pretty quickly, too.

Good. I hope it does them great harm.

woodNfish on December 13, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Wow, WTF happened to the layers of editor and fact checkers on that article? Hell, what happened to spell check?

brainy435 on December 13, 2012 at 12:52 PM

elections have consequences…the people need to get exactly what they vote for…socialism, fascism or marxism, whatever you wanna call it…

RedInMD on December 13, 2012 at 1:00 PM

This is just the opening salvo in the WAR ON BUSINESS by the left.

By the time the ObamaCare disaster unfolds you’re going to see the potential of having 10 million more union members all with their hands in the FEDERAL TREASURY. And THEN…….their bargaining position will be the LIFE AND DEATH of millions that depend on health care.

This economy is headed at 75 mph into a BRICK WALL……and Obama is happy to drive it there (so they can rebuild it in their own image).

PappyD61 on December 13, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Oh, Pappy, give me just a little hope!

Belle on December 13, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Contrary to comments above, the Michigan ‘health-care worker’ skim-scam has NOT YET been entirely shut down —
linky: “SEIU dues skimmed since union and state officials first launched this scheme in 2006″ — and a bread-trail of the whole sordid matter …

/.

CaveatEmpty on December 13, 2012 at 1:36 PM

All home healthcare workers are unionized in California. Union dues come out of the small stipend my 72 year old mother in law receives for caring for my 83 year old father in law with advanced Parkinson’s disease. She does not get a vote, or any union benefit from those dues, she is simply coerced to pay them with no benefit to herself, or to my father in law.

juanito on December 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

They tried to do the exact same thing here in Michigan in November.

They Failed. Then we passed Right-to-work this week.

I say bring it. Unions only exist through force. Without it, they will fail.

GadsdenRattlers on December 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

They tried to do the exact same thing here in Michigan in November.

They Failed. Then we passed Right-to-work this week.

GadsdenRattlers on December 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Liberals downfall will be failing to understand Newton’s third law (I think RTW was the “re-action” to what the unions tried to pull in November).

teejk on December 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

All home healthcare workers are unionized in California. Union dues come out of the small stipend my 72 year old mother in law receives for caring for my 83 year old father in law with advanced Parkinson’s disease. She does not get a vote, or any union benefit from those dues, she is simply coerced to pay them with no benefit to herself, or to my father in law.

juanito on December 13, 2012 at 1:59 PM

Thanks for posting that, it’s helpful to get firsthand information.

I’ve heard that they even want this to cover family members that do this. Can you explain that? Who pays your MIL? Is she officially an employee of some organization or the government? Does she pay income tax or SS/MC on that money? Is it legally considered a salary/wage?

If not a wage/salary, but more of a social benefit check, how would it be legal to deduct union dues? No one could ever deduct union dues from a welfare check, why can they do it with this kind of check.

slickwillie2001 on December 13, 2012 at 4:41 PM