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SEIU sued over dues

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* From the Illinois Policy Institute

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn in 2014 forced Illinois to stop requiring the payment of union fees from unwilling home care providers and day care operators. The court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits Illinois and other state governments from compelling people like home care and day care providers – who accept state subsidies but are not government employees – to pay money to a union as a condition of receiving state funds.

Since then, revenue has plummeted for the union those providers were forced to support – the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU. Before the decision, SEIU skimmed about $808,000 a month from the checks of day care providers alone; since the Harris decision, it has only been able to take about $343,000 per month from the minority of providers who have not opted out of paying union fees.

And the Harris decision might land another financial blow on SEIU: A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of nonunion day care providers seeks to make SEIU repay the tens of millions of dollars it wrongfully took from those workers since the state force-unionized them in 2005.

The lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit are Laura Baston and Sandy Winner, who operate small businesses that provide day care services to low-income children. Watch them tell their stories in this video:

The lawsuit is here.

* The video

- Posted by Rich Miller        

21 Comments
  1. - Tone - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Sounds good


  2. - AC - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:31 am:

    Presumably, they’ll pay back increased compensation bargained on their behalf as well. No?


  3. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:34 am:

    I’ll bet Laura and Sandy are basking in the conservative glory of not getting paid due to the budget impasse. I’m sure they are pleased as punch to not have the SEIU concerned about their well being.

    Be careful what they wished for, I think it’s coming sooner than they hoped. Total collapse of the social safety net. When they are making way less than minimum wage, I suppose that will be cold comfort.


  4. - Anon - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    It’s sort of neat to see folks bring a lawsuit that could result in a ruling that would return the issue to the U.S. Supreme Court.


  5. - Tournaround Agenda - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    You can always count on IPI to fight the good fight for people who want to make less money.


  6. - PMcP - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    I doubt this will go far, it’s not like they paid for nothing, a service was provided whether they found value in it or not. This should be dismissed pretty quickly.


  7. - take that - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 11:55 am:

    @touraround agenda

    ….While taking Rauner and his donors money to pretend IPI is a 501c3 charitable organization.


  8. - Federalist - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:00 pm:

    I strongly support unions and I hate to see their destruction. I was a member of SEIU for 4 years and AFT for 29 years.

    However, they way the SEIU forced this sown people’s throat, for this type of work, was appalling.

    And yes, SEIU lost and should pay back the money.


  9. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:19 pm:

    This is only the beginning.


  10. - Liberty - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:49 pm:

    Not going to happen.


  11. - AC - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 12:59 pm:

    ==SEIU lost and should pay back the money.==

    In order to remain consistent, any increase in subsidies bargained by SEIU should go back to the state as well. Providers who have been freed of the costs of representation should be the benefits of representation as well.


  12. - Former Federal Prosecutor - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:53 pm:

    AC, can you offer any proof whatsoever that SEIU ever bargained for higher compensation for these PAs? Looking at the budget for the Home Services Program, it doesn’t appear that they ever got any such thing. And a cursory reading of Harris v. Quinn suggests that it may not have even been within the scope of their bargaining power to do so.


  13. - AC - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:16 pm:

    I believe they’re covered under the SEIU -Child Care Providers contract which includes increases in reimbursement bargained for by the union and outlined on page 7:

    http://www.illinois.gov/cms/Employees/Personnel/Pages/PersonnelLaborRelations.aspx


  14. - AlabamaShake - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    **AC, can you offer any proof whatsoever that SEIU ever bargained for higher compensation for these PAs? Looking at the budget for the Home Services Program, it doesn’t appear that they ever got any such thing. And a cursory reading of Harris v. Quinn suggests that it may not have even been within the scope of their bargaining power to do so.**

    Sigh… use google. You’re a former federal prosecutor? Further, both the child care and the home services program saw huge increases in each programs budgets over the past decade, so I’m not sure how you can say, from looking at the budget, that it looks like they didn’t get increases.

    Both child care providers and personal assistants have seen significant pay increases over the past several years, solely because of what SEIU bargained for them. They also were given access to employer-sponsored health insurance for the first time.

    Further, it was EXPLICITLY in the scope of the unions bargaining power to negotiate over wages.


  15. - AlabamaShake - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    Also, Former Prosecutor, this post is about child care providers that SEIU represents, not Home Services Program personal assistants.


  16. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:17 pm:

    can the State sue and get back the increases salaries it negotiated with the union…. lets reset it all….


  17. - Honeybear - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:17 pm:

    Just wait until Friedrichs vs CTA is negatively decided in the SCOTUS. It will take away fairshare entirely from all unions. It’s going to be the apocalypse. That’s why a lot of union effort is going into the ground game and one on one relations.


  18. - AC - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:23 pm:

    ==Just wait until Friedrichs vs CTA is negatively decided in the SCOTUS==

    Honeybear, bite your tongue or maybe put on a pair of mittens. Hope and pray that doesn’t happen.


  19. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:45 pm:

    “can the State sue and get back the increases salaries it negotiated with the union…. lets reset it all….”

    The state made a choice to pay all the workers the same under the contract. They could have had a different pay schedule for those not in SEIU had they chosen to do so. They chose not to, and set the pay scale the same. They can’t take it back now.


  20. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:52 pm:

    “Both child care providers and personal assistants have seen significant pay increases over the past several years, solely because of what SEIU bargained for them.”

    That brings up an interesting question; why would the state hand out raises greater than the rate of inflation when they didn’t have the money to pay the bills? If they said they’d limit raises to inflation rates, what was SEIU going to do? Send a few busloads of those purple shirted “rent a protestors” to Springfield? It’s more likely that some pang of conscience got them to kick more money over to the workers, who WERE arguably underpaid years ago. If it was simply policy to pay more, perhaps a good one in order to keep many of the disabled and ill out of much more expensive facilities, you can’t give credit for that to the SEIU.


  21. - Jorge - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:00 pm:

    Bob, thanks for the laugh. I kinda missed your nonsensical ramblings.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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