In-home health care workers in Connecticut, like their counterparts in Michigan, may see so-called union dues deducted from paychecks they receive through a state subsidy for the poor, but two free market groups are trying to stop it.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is trying to unionize in-home health care workers, based on the theory that they qualify as public employees because the money paid to them is subsidized by the state. "The only notice home health care workers receive concerning a union election is a nondescript mailing asking them if they wish to join the union," says the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). "Under this process, the union only needs to receive a majority of returned cards—not a majority of all workers—to be recognized as those workers’ exclusive bargaining representative."
The SEIU achieved this goal in Michigan, with the result that even low-income families who receive a Medicaid subsidy to take care of their adult, disabled children are losing $30 a month to the union. "Our daughter is 34 and our son is 30," retired police office Robert Haynes said of the Michigan unionization. "They have cerebral palsy. They are basically like 6-month-olds in adult bodies. They need to be fed and they wear diapers. We could sure use that $30 a month that's being sent to the union."
"Forced unionization of home health and day care workers shows government at its worst," said CEI Policy Analyst Trey Kovacs in a statement. "Across the nation, union political influence has swayed elected officials such as [Gov. Dan Malloy, D, Conn.] to divert tax dollars intended to cover medical expenses for their states’ poor residents to enrich union coffers instead."
To oppose the SEIU effort, CEI and the Yankee Institute for Public Policy began a mail campaign this week designed to encourage workers to vote against the scheme, pointing out to the in-home employees that the "SEIU wants to take up to $780 from your pay in union dues."
The SEIU says it wants to help the in-home health care workers unionize in order to help negotiate a better contract for the workers, and to help keep the employees in the industry.