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Court rules against unions on home care workers

Monday, Jun 30, 2014

* The US Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision today that mandatory public union dues for home care workers violate workers’ First Amendment rights

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that in-home care workers in Illinois who are paid by the state cannot be compelled to pay union dues.

The court held on a 5-4 vote that the free speech and free association rights of the workers were violated but the scope of the ruling was limited because the justices decided not to upend a decades-old practice that lets public-sector unions collect money from workers who do not want union representation.

The case stems from Harris v. Quinn, an Illinois case involving in-home care providers. Illinois and other states have long used Medicaid funds to pay salaries for in-home care workers to assist disabled adults who otherwise might have to be placed in state institutions. The jobs were poorly paid, and turnover was high..

The full opinion is here. I’m still reading through it.

…Adding… From House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…

I applaud the United States Supreme Court’s decision today by siding with Illinoisans Pam and Josh Harris by ruling that a home is not a union shop and that the sensitive decisions regarding the care for a disabled loved one needs to remain with the caregiver and in the home.

In June of 2009, the Governor issued Executive Order 15 which allows for collective bargaining in the home based support services provided, for the most part, by parents and family members of the disabled. Josh Harris suffers from Rubenstein-Taybi syndrome and other physical and mental disabilities. Josh’s mother Pam Harris, is his caregiver. At that time, Pam and Josh lived a few blocks from me and she reached out to me expressing her grave concerns with the Executive Order 15 and how its full implementation would affect her son. I spent an afternoon with her and Josh and witnessed first-hand the daily care she provides her son. I soon introduced HR 720 which called upon the Governor to withdraw EO 15. Despite Pam’s testimony with Josh present, the resolution failed in the Democrat controlled State Government Administration committee. This past year I reintroduced the Resolution.

Pam Harris speaks for the thousands of parents and family members who serve as caregivers. No one other than Pam Harris knows what’s best for Josh and the United States Supreme Court agrees.

…Adding… From the decision

Just as the State denies personal assistants most of the rights and benefits enjoyed by full-fledged state workers, the State does not assume responsibility for actions taken by personal assistants during the course of their employ­ment. The governing statute explicitly disclaims “vicari­ous liability in tort.” Ibid. So if a personal assistant steals from a customer, neglects a customer, or abuses a customer, the State washes its hands.

Illinois deems personal assistants to be state employees for one purpose only, collective bargaining, but the scope of bargaining that may be conducted on their behalf is sharply limited. Under the governing Illinois statute, collective bargaining can occur only for “terms and condi­tions of employment that are within the State’s control.” Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 20, §2405/3(f ). That is not very much. […]

If respondents’ and the dissent’s views were adopted, a host of workers who receive payments from a governmen­tal entity for some sort of service would be candidates for inclusion within Abood’s reach. Medicare-funded home health employees may be one such group. See Brief for Petitioners 51; 42 U. S. C. §1395x(m); 42 CFR §424.22(a). The same goes for adult foster care providers in Oregon (Ore. Rev. Stat. §443.733 (2013)) and Washington (Wash. Rev. Code §41.56.029 (2012)) and certain workers under the federal Child Care and Development Fund programs (45 CFR §98.2).

From an end-note

The Court of Appeals held—and we agree—that the First Amend­ ment claims of the petitioners who work, not in the Rehabilitation Program, but in a different but related program, the “Disabilities Program,” are not ripe. This latter program is similar in its basic structure to the Rehabilitation Program, see App. to Pet. for Cert. 14a, but the Disabilities Program personal assistants have not yet union­ ized. The Disabilities Program petitioners claim that under Illinois Executive Order No. 2009–15, they face imminent unionization and, along with it, compulsory dues payments. Executive Order No. 2009– 15, they note, is “almost identical to EO 2003–08, except that it targets providers in the Disabilities Program.” Brief for Petitioners 10.

In a 2009 mail-ballot election, the Disabilities Program personal assistants voted down efforts by SEIU Local 73 and American Federa­ tion State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 to become their representatives. See App. 27. The record before us does not suggest that there are any further elections currently scheduled. Nor does the record show that any union is currently trying to obtain certification through a card check program. Under these circumstances, we agree with the holding of the Court of Appeals.

Reading the full decision, it’s obvious that at least some in the majority wanted to go much further and get rid of compulsory union dues for all public employees. Obviously, they didn’t have enough votes to get that far, but it may not be long.

…Adding… Commenter “Just Saying” has a very good analogy

Interesting that some here think that those who do not want to be forced to pay union dues are getting a “free ride.” Yet, business associations often pass legislation that help sectors of industry without requiring those businesses that are helped to be members. It’s the same type of thing. Should businesses that get a tax break from legislation passed by the IMA or IRMA be forced to pay dues to either of those organizations? Of course not.

…Adding… From Gov. Quinn…

“Today’s 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court is disappointing.

“There are thousands of workers who care for our seniors and people with disabilities in Illinois, and they deserve the right to collectively bargain for decent wages, benefits and proper working conditions.

“A high-quality workforce of long-term, in-home care workers gives our most vulnerable citizens the opportunity to live independently in their own homes, instead of forcing them into expensive, long-term care institutions. All people, no matter what their challenges are, deserve the opportunity to choose to live in the community.

“We will continue working to provide quality care for our most vulnerable citizens and we will continue fighting to ensure workers get a fair shake for a hard day’s work.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        


61 Comments
  1. - Tom S. - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    So does Pam Harris lose her union-negotiated pay raise?


  2. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:44 am:

    Illinois could and should pass a law stating that these home healthcare workers who choose not to join the union will not be represented by the union. Let them go back to their $8/hour while the union members make $13. So many of them want something (wage increases and health care) for nothing. How very conservative of them to try to free-ride.


  3. - LBJ - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:45 am:

    Someone may want to check, but I believe Leader Durkin voted for the law when it passed.


  4. - lake county democrat - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    John Roberts, the most powerful conservative in government. After 2012 some people thought Citizens United wasn’t as big a deal as progressives and reform types first claimed. I think they were wrong (2012 was a casebook example of stupid political spending by conservatives and smart/targeted spending by the Dems), and now labor’s ability to neutralize some of that US Chamber-like spending is going to be diminished.


  5. - logic not emotion - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Good ruling.


  6. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    “The court held on a 5-4 vote that the free speech and free association rights of the workers were violated but the scope of the ruling was limited because the justices decided not to upend a decades-old practice that lets public-sector unions collect money from workers who do not want union representation.”

    It’s the decision I expected. I am breathing a sigh of relief that Abood was not overturned by this court. I believe public unions should be able to charge workers fees for doing business, such as negotiating contracts, filing grievances, etc., as long as they’re traditional employees. I’m glad that this still stands.

    Some wanted this court to do a “kill shot,” to deem that any payment to a public union for the cost of doing business is potentially a violation of free speech. That thankfully didn’t happen.

    I think it’s time to bury the hatchet and invite some of the anti-union folks to sing a verse of a song, in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., who died while defending public unions.

    Chuck and Dave Koch are welcome, as are the folks at the IPI. If any Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity folks are around, please join in also–this goes also for Eden Martin, the Trib editorial board and Civic Committee. Arizona Bob, you too. C’mon in, the peace water is fine. Let’s all join hands now and sing this verse:

    We shall overco-o-ome, We shall overco-o-ome,
    We shall overcome some da-a-ay
    Oh, deep in my heart I do believe
    We shall overcome some day

    Thank you.


  7. - Phenomynous - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    This what the right decision. All of the naysayers should read the opinion before commenting. These members are not considered full-time state employees and don’t receive the same umbrella rights that go along with state employment. There is more to bargaining than just wage.

    Personally, I think the union got a little greedy on this one and should be happy that the Court didn’t touch Abood.


  8. - Archiesmom - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    There’s a lot of dicta on Abood in Alito’s opinion. It seems obvious he wanted to trash it (at least to me), and couldn’t get that fifth vote. It may be a road map to attack Abood at a later date, especially if Court members change.


  9. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:00 am:


    Personally, I think the union got a little greedy on this one and should be happy that the Court didn’t touch Abood.

    Yet.


  10. - Pete - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:01 am:

    Free Ride?

    They have neither the protections of a state employee, nor the benefits of a state employee.
    There is no vacation, sick, or personal days off.
    There is no pension.
    There is only one family member caring for another 24/7 at a cost that is significantly less than a treatment facility staffed by full time state employees.


  11. - RNUG - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    Court made the right decision.


  12. - ArchPundit - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:11 am:

    ===They have neither the protections of a state employee, nor the benefits of a state employee.
    There is no vacation, sick, or personal days off.
    There is no pension.
    There is only one family member caring for another 24/7 at a cost that is significantly less than a treatment facility staffed by full time state employees.

    Hence, the solution would be to make them full employees. Not holding my breath.


  13. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:19 am:

    Obviously not the verdict Quinn was looking for.


  14. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Pete-

    So are you saying they’re giving up their raises and health care?

    Are you also saying that they have a better chance at pensions and vacation days without the union?


  15. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    I agree that it is clear from the way Alito is treating Abood that he wanted the broader ruling but couldn’t get the majority to agree. Remember that the Supreme Court does do anything quickly and I agree with the commentator who said that they haven’t overturn Abood YET. It takes time to turn a big ship.


  16. - Anon - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    “Illinois could and should pass a law stating that these home healthcare workers who choose not to join the union will not be represented by the union. Let them go back to their $8/hour while the union members make $13. So many of them want something (wage increases and health care) for nothing. How very conservative of them to try to free-ride.”

    This, don’t want to pay fees or dues? Fine, but you are on your own when it comes to negotiating wages, working conditions, benefits, etc.


  17. - Pete - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    ArchPundit and Chi,

    I don’t believe that Harris or any family member that makes the decision to stay at home and care for a loved one is doing so for a pension. I also don’t believe that those people making that choice would want to leave behind a family member to take a 2 week vacation.

    I would equate the medicaid funds these people recieve to more of a stipend than a salary. That’s my personal opinion. There could be a COLA adjustment if needed.

    It also becomes muddy when the family member that is being cared for passes on. The care-taker more than likely is not looking for another individual to care for. Their service once completed should allow for a respectful seperation from the medicaid program.

    These situations are long term but are most likely not intended to be careers.

    For professional care-takers working with training, education, and qualifications as a career or a profession… I have no objection to thier unionization or classification by the state.


  18. - Sue - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    Refresh my memory- didn’t SEIU make a whopping campaign contribution around the time the Governor issued his proclamation resulting in a union dues windfall to SEIU?


  19. - Aaron62287 - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:35 am:

    - Tom S. - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    So does Pam Harris lose her union-negotiated pay raise?

    No Tom. Now she can keep her Medicaid payment to care for her son instead of giving your union boss another bonus.


  20. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Alito is the most anti-union justice on the court. It doesn’t surprise me he wasn’t able to get the votes to effectively impose national right-to-work, and I would suspect that the most significant restraint on Alito was probably Scalia, given his past opinions on the topic; I actually felt there was some prospect that Scalia would side with the moderate-to-liberal justices on this case. But Scalia obviously gave enough quarter to Alito to produce yet another chipping away at dicta, and the people who call most loudly for judicial restraint showing the most reluctance to actually practice it.

    I think the “conservative” interest in this case was extremely self-serving, but in a field as chaotic and atomized as home health care, you’re always going to find one or two useful slow-witted people to sign onto the case.


  21. - Aaron62287 - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:40 am:

    “I think the “conservative” interest in this case was extremely self-serving” Too funny. Coming from someone who wanted to continue to see Medicaid payments going to a powerful union rather than disabled children.


  22. - Angry Chicagoan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    I do think that declaring people public employees only for the purpose of collective bargaining and not for any other purpose is rather suspect. I’ll be interested to see more analysis, not to mention case law, to see if this turns out to be the limit of the case’s scope. If so, it’s probably a better decision than my first instincts tell me.

    One other angle; Illinois depends much more heavily on contractors and has many fewer state employees per unit of population than most other states. This decision likely helps the state to keep it that way, but by the same token means a lot less to states that outsource less.


  23. - Jeff Trigg - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    grandson - “in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., who died while defending public unions.”

    Oh come on, this is just left-wing-nuttery extremism. MLK died while fighting against the southern Democrat public unions to make them stop being such racists. The public union bus drivers who made certain people go to the back of the bus. The public union parks & rec employees who kept certain people from using the public pools and facilities. The public union law enforcement and fire fighters who sprayed certain people with water hoses when they tried out free speech. The public union teachers who thought segregated schools was just fine.

    MLK was fighting against the racist southern Democrat public unions, not for them.


  24. - Ahoy! - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:41 am:

    I agree with this decision and don’t believe it’s as anti-union as some of the other folks on here. There point is that you can’t force unionization on people the State does not treat as employees. They were dead right on this one.


  25. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    proper scope of the ruling


  26. - walker - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    With them on this narrow ruling.


  27. - Mountaintop - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Jeff Trigg, you should read MLK’s last speech. Or anything about why he was in Memphis that day.


  28. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    == Chuck and Dave Koch are welcome, as are the folks at the IPI. ==

    Don’t forgot George Soros, Tom Steyer, Democracy Alliance and friends.

    From earlier this year - “Reversing trend, Democrats top the list of biggest Super PAC donors” http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/02/04/reversing-trend-democrats-top-the-list-of-biggest-super-pac-donors/


  29. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    Jeff Trigg wins the award for most factually incorrect post of the week. Congratulations Jeff.


  30. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    “MLK was fighting against the racist southern Democrat public unions, not for them.”

    Sorry, but you can’t conflate unionization with racism. Union members and non-union members were racist. MLK did not fight against unions per se, he fought against government and all instututions that preserved the racist status quo.

    I have not read one speech or quote from MLK in which he stood against unions for bettering their members economic standing, or for anything else. He stood against racists, who were in and out of unions, not unions themselves, or the concept of unionization.

    MLK fought for better pay and benefits and no doubt would support public unions today. No doubt about it.

    Have you ever called MLK a communist before for fighting for economic justice? Others did. Folks can’t have it both ways.


  31. - Sue - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Come on folks- this opinion is not anti- union - The Court left alone legitimate employees being charged their union dues- Justice Alito saw this case for what it was- a sham corrupt Illinois deal to reward a Union for its political financial support converting individuals who are not state employees to being state employees for one and only one basis- paying union dues. Anyone who is objective will see that what the Governor did was to increase the union membership by 22 thousand members simply to increase the dues from which political contributions could be made- This case has nothing to do with labor relations and Justice Alito called this out for the sham it always was


  32. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    “Don’t forgot George Soros, Tom Steyer, Democracy Alliance and friends.”

    It’s not an apples-to-apples comparison. Soros et al. give money against their own economic interests, to support politicians who want to raise taxes on the wealthy and increase the minimum wage, along with enacting climate protection laws. The Kochs and others give money so they themselves and others like them get richer.

    Why don’t the Kochs support tax increases on the wealthy? Why don’t they support combating climate change and the EPA, and other liberal causes? If they did, then it would be warranted to make a comparison between them and folks like George Soros.

    I think we can tone it down a little and sing another song of unity, that MLK would have no doubt supported, just like he would have supported public unions. Let’s hold hands again and sing another verse:

    Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya, my lord, kumbaya
    Oh lord, Kumbaya


  33. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:23 am:

    Ahoy said it right. Parents assisting their disabled children are not “employees” and should not be forced to pay into SEIU when they receive none of the benefits. Good work SCOTUS.


  34. - Just Saying - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:25 am:

    Interesting that some here think that those who do not want to be forced to pay union dues are getting a “free ride.” Yet, business associations often pass legislation that help sectors of industry without requiring those businesses that are helped to be members. It’s the same type of thing. Should businesses that get a tax break from legislation passed by the IMA or IRMA be forced to pay dues to either of those organizations? Of course not.


  35. - anon - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Whew! That could have been much worse.


  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:35 am:

    ===Should businesses that get a tax break from legislation passed by the IMA or IRMA be forced to pay dues to either of those organizations? ===

    You’ve accurately summed up the gist of this ruling in one simple (and spot-on) question.

    Thanks.


  37. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Just Saying-

    IRMA and IMA have no legal duty to listen to/fight for/represent/spend time and money bargaining for companies that don’t pay dues to them.


  38. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:42 am:

    Just Sayin-

    Better analogy is: should citizens that happen to get a raise when SEIU and AFSCME pass a minimum wage increase be forced to pay dues. And the answer is no, and everyone agrees on this.


  39. - Just Saying - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Chi-

    They have a fiduciary responsibility to fight for the industries they represent. If they fail, they would be out of business from loss of membership.


  40. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:47 am:

    “Ahoy said it right. Parents assisting their disabled children are not “employees” and should not be forced to pay into SEIU when they receive none of the benefits.”

    At the same time (for now), the court recognized that public unions who represent “employees” can collect union dues for the cost of representation. Some folks wanted to see that struck down. It didn’t happen, thankfully.

    This is a decision that probably didn’t please the hardcore folks at either end of this issue. As for myself, I am happy that the traditional workers are compelled to pay for the benefits that unions negotiate for them.

    How ironic would it have been if Abood were struck down? The Kochs and folks of this ilk who support right to work rail against “parasites,” but their support of national right to work would have created the very “parasites” they slam–workers who wouldn’t pay dues but would gain all the benefits that are paid for by union members.


  41. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    **===Should businesses that get a tax break from legislation passed by the IMA or IRMA be forced to pay dues to either of those organizations? ===

    You’ve accurately summed up the gist of this ruling in one simple (and spot-on) question.**

    The MAJOR difference is that the union has a legal mandate to represent ALL individuals in the bargaining unit, not just members.

    So, now, SEIU will be required to bargain for rate increases for all home care employees, regardless of whether or not they are a member. And they will have to provide training, provided through the CBA, for all home care employees, regardless of whether or not they are a member. And, they will have to continue to represent all employees, regardless of whether or not they are a member.


  42. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:52 am:

    **They have a fiduciary responsibility to fight for the industries they represent. If they fail, they would be out of business from loss of membership.**

    No, not really. They only have the fiduciary responsibility to fight for their members.


  43. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    IRMA and IMA do not have a fiduciary responsibility to non-members.

    They’d go out of business for the same reason AFSCME and SEIU would; their members don’t think their services are worth the cost. Except there’s one caveat: if people can get AFSCME and SEIU’s services for free, which they can in a right-to-work environment, then members don’t have to pay anything and get the same representation.

    Ask IMA and IRMA if they’re willing to be legally bound to represent every business in their industry throughout the state, to the same extent they represent their members, whether or not the business pays dues.


  44. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:05 pm:

    To be totally opposed to labor unions or totally supportive is unreasonable. Our Nation has evolved with many protections for labor that did not exist during much of our history and thus led to horrible conditions for workers. That has changed a great deal in the last 50-60 years. Some would say that the laws now favor lob or over business and the pendulum is swinging the other direction. Balance is important for anything to work. I would suggest management and labor are equally to blame for the failures of American manufacturing. The years of corruption, especially at the highest levels, of our largest unions have left a bad taste in the mouths of the public. Who can forget Jimmy Hoffa? He is but one name in a long list of corrupt union officials. On the management side the list is at least equally as long of greed and corruption, although not always as obvious. Management and labor both were at the table bargaining. Why did management allow some of the ridiculous benefits and rights into some of these contracts? As a member of management that must bargain with public employees (for the first time) I find some of the past decisions inexplicable and it is my job to bring reasonableness to our agreement. But it was these well-paid union jobs that marked the height of the middle class and America’s economic might in the 50′ and 60’s. There has to be a measure of reason, I think this ruling is correct. The intent was never to bring these workers into the fold but to bring them a reasonable wage due to high turn over. The “workers” in question are often family members. You may argue about raises and benefits but the fact is that the intent was clear in this case.


  45. - Makandadawg - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    This specific decision is probably correct and Quinn & the unions should have known better. But don’t forget that the bigger “Right to Work Battle” is focused heavily on Illinois and this decision will only encourage the “Rich and Powerful”.


  46. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===Someone may want to check, but I believe Leader Durkin voted for the law when it passed. ===

    Perhaps you should’ve checked before posting that erroneous comment. And it would’ve been so easy. You wouldn’t have even needed to look at the roll call. Why? Durkin wasn’t even in the GA at the time.

    Sheesh.


  47. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    **Quinn & the unions should have known better.**

    Its amazing how few people that are commenting on this case actually know what they’re talking about.

    This wasn’t really a Quinn thing. There are two different groups of workers. The Pam Harris group was never forced to pay a penny. This started with an exec order from Blago, but was then codified almost unanimously (115-0 in House, 51-2 in the Senate) by the General Assembly.


  48. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    ==- Jeff Trigg - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 10:41 am:==

    You are a complete and total moron. The city of Memphis, where Dr. King was murdered by a racist assassin, was extremely hostile to all public unions. It had a history of mass firings of employees when organizing occurred, including teachers and firefighters. Even a cursory search engine review could have stopped you from posting this ignorant filth.


  49. - truthteller - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:43 pm:

    Rich, Are the IMA and the Chamber legally required to represent the interests of businesses which are not their members? Of course not.
    Are unions legally required to provide representation to non-members. Yes. Can unions be sued if they don’t? Yes.
    I know it is summer, but this lazy thinking is not worthy of your keen insight.
    Read Kagan’s brilliant dissent in which she quotes Scalia.
    Poor anal


  50. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    The union obviously overstepped here by expanding coverage to non employees of government services and they got called out for it.

    If you want government union wages, you have to work for a government.


  51. - Phenomynous - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:13 pm:

    You pro-union people need to take a breath. Public sector unions and their members exclusively secure hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal tax dollars, with little to no competition.

    Quit complaining about a few people falling underneath your umbrella and be thankful that your members still have jobs. This court case was brought on by yourself. You couldn’t stand the fact that parents taking care of their disabled kids at home could get Medicaid funding at a rate your union bargained for its represented employees. You wanted more, you got less, and you should feel blessed that it stopped where it did.


  52. - Shark Sandwich - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:15 pm:

    “a sham corrupt Illinois deal to reward a Union for its political financial support converting individuals who are not state employees to being state employees for one and only one basis- paying union dues.”

    I understand why people who take care of a disabled adult child wouldn’t want to pay any sum out of what meager amount the state gives them to the union; what I don’t understand is why they wouldn’t then expect that union to lobby for a raise in the funds available for that purpose, to cover the difference and then ongoing inflation adjustments.
    If the reimbursement they get is so low, it only makes sense to have some form of an association lobbying for their mutual need for more money. Doesn’t have to be a Union.
    IIRC, in response to this EO and the subsequent union push, Ms. Harris (ahem) ‘organized’ other parents in her situation to vote against joining.


  53. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    Some grandstanding by Rauner about the courts striking a blow against Quinn and the union bosses is prolly inevitable.

    Let’s remember that if Rauner has his way and rolls back state spending by $5 billion, the program probably would not exist.

    Let’s also remember that the effort to deinstitutionalize care for people with disabilities has been largely lead by SEIU and Democrats.

    Is this a good decision?

    Probably a practical one. But let’s also be honest that groups like foster parents aren’t really heavy hitters in Springfield, so without groups like SEIU lobbying to protect their line item, Pam Harris might not be receiving even $8.50 an hour in help.

    My advice: save the cheers and jeers until you see how this plays out in the next few budgets.


  54. - Chi - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:38 pm:

    Phenomynous;

    “Public sector unions and their members exclusively secure hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal tax dollars, with little to no competition.”

    Ever hear of privatization, outsourcing, off-shoring, budget cuts, layoffs, editorial boards, the tea party, the Supreme Court etc.? Where doe the “no competition” claim come from?

    And I don’t think us “pro-union” people have been vitriolic or otherwise breathless on this post.

    And your “falling underneath your umbrella” line is an implicit admission they are free-riding, no? So it is admittedly unfair but according to you we aren’t allowed to complain about it, we should just shut up and take it? Is that what you do when your beliefs are threatened and attacked, or is it only what everyone else should do?


  55. - Phenomynous - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:05 pm:

    Chi,

    I am speaking to a public sector unions exclusive ability to bargain and enter into contract with the state, not whatever union busting scheme you think the Tea Party/Koch Bro/Supreme Court coalition has against public sector unions.

    Your second point about falling under the umbrella of union negotiation is not validating that someone is getting a free ride, it validates the unions greed. This point echoes sentiments earlier about how other associations work.

    You don’t see Cupcake Girl soliciting dues from lemonade stands across Illinois because now they don’t have to pay taxes or are now not subject to other onerous state regs. They fall under her umbrella.


  56. - AlabamaShake - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:14 pm:

    **You don’t see Cupcake Girl soliciting dues from lemonade stands across Illinois because now they don’t have to pay taxes or are now not subject to other onerous state regs. They fall under her umbrella.**

    The HUGE difference is that the union is required, by law, to represent all employees covered by the contract. Cupcake Girl isn’t required to represent anyone.

    To pretend that there isn’t a distinction between the two is blatantly dishonest.


  57. - Phenomynous - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:26 pm:

    Alabamashake,

    Cupcake Girl also doesn’t bargain contracts for thousands of workers, or secure millions in tax revenue. Take the umbrella as part of the deal.


  58. - Earnest - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    Once again, do not confuse this with the SEIU representation of the Division of Rehabilitation Services Home Workers. That’s a different ball game. Thought they are not state employees, the rate that they are paid is set by the state, so collective bargaining makes sense for them.

    The program Pam Harris is dealing with is an entirely different thing. People like Pam have a maximum amount of money to spend on services for their children each month. They can also set the rate for the personal support workers. Lower rates equals more hours available, higher rates equals fewer hours available. Families want that flexibility. The only strong case a union could make here would be that they would represent the people with disabilities who receive the monthly budget and work to increase that, since that is set and paid by the state.

    I find this a very interesting discussion but feel like I’m missing out when people don’t recognize that difference in the debate.


  59. - efudd - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 6:15 pm:

    Organized labor, the U.S.P.S., and the penny.
    Won’t know what we got until they’re gone. By then, of course, too late.


  60. - Lost in the Weeds - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 6:38 pm:

    “The Pam Harris group was never forced to pay a penny. ”

    The fact is I do not know what the facts are.


  61. - yahoo - Thursday, Jul 3, 14 @ 10:26 am:

    Very quickly this web page will be famous among all
    blogging people, due to it’s fastidious posts


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