As always, Minnesota’s big labor unions are seeking new and creative ways to swell their ranks and bilk taxpayers. The latest front in the battle over compulsory unionization is home care workers, or personal care assistants (PCAs).
As you may recall, AFSCME and SEIU previously tried to unionize child care providers, who own and operate their small business from their homes. That effort ended in ignominious defeat when a court struck down Governor Dayton’s executive order.
The logic behind the latest union scheme is similarly strained and convoluted. AFSCME and SEIU are targeting home care workers in "self-directed programs", which means they are hired by, and work directly for, individual clients (in most cases, the client is an elderly or disabled family member). The unions want to “bargain” with the state on behalf of these workers for higher Medicaid spending.
If the unions are successful, 15,000 to 20,000 workers in Minnesota could be affected. But first, they need legislation to legalize their convoluted scheme. Predictably, Governor Dayton and incoming House Speaker Paul Thissen both say they are open to the idea.
Jamie Gulley, the president of SEIU Health Care Minnesota, said, "There is no reluctance within SEIU. This has been done in other states." And indeed, it has been done, though not without controversy.
In fact, SEIU organized home care workers in Michigan with the help of then-Governor Jennifer Granholm. The result? Since 2006, SEIU has skimmed more than $30 million directly from Medicaid subsidies for union dues. When the state passed a law earlier this year to ban "stealth unionization", unions tried to amend the state’s constitution to allow dues skimming to continue. Despite a multi-million dollar deceptive campaign, Michigan voters rejected the amendment last month.
As SEIU boasts, this has been done in other states. Let’s not let it happen here.
Cross-posted from the Freedom Foundation of MN Bulletin.