10,000 Minnesota Homecare Workers Reject the SEIU

Posted by Olivia Grady on Monday, October 9th, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Permalink

On September 28th, personal homecare workers in Minnesota held a press conference and turned more than 10,000 signatures into the office of Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) in an effort to decertify the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the union that claims to represent them.

Personal homecare workers are individuals, usually family members, who help those with serious medical conditions. These homecare workers receive a small subsidy from Medicaid in return.

Unfortunately though, in May 2013, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (DFL) signed S.F. 778 into law, declaring that these personal care attendants (PCAs) are government workers. However, they are only government employees for collective bargaining purposes. They cannot receive any of the traditional benefits of state workers.

The SEIU then quickly held an election where fewer than 4,000 PCAs out of 27,000 voted for the union. Because SEIU supporters were the majority of those who voted though, the SEIU became the exclusive bargaining representative of all of the PCAs, even those who did not join the union.

In May 2015, the state of Minnesota and the union signed a contract, allowing the SEIU to collect 3% of the taxpayer-funded Medicaid subsidy that SEIU members receive.

Kris Greene and other PCAs, however, decided to fight back. They created an organization called MNPCA to ask for another election. Their first step though was to get signatures from at least one-third of the 27,000 PCAs who did not want to be represented by the SEIU.

Through the process of collecting these signatures, the homecare workers have discovered that the PCA lists are not accurate. They allege fraud and that they have been stymied by the state government.

Matt Patterson, for example, has written about some of the homecare workers who say the SEIU forged their names on dues deduction authorization cards. They also claim harassment by the union. One article detailing this fraud is Patterson’s Forbes article, “Exclusive: SEIU Skims Medicaid for ‘Dues.’”

Now that the homecare workers with the help of MNPCA attorney Doug Seaton, the Center of the American Experiment, the Center for Independent Employees, the Center for Worker Freedom and others have collected over 9,000 cards, an election to decertify the union should be held soon.