On October 5, I reported on the parental backlash against the SEIU-led campaign to drag Illinois home health care workers into the union fold. Mom Pam Harris, whose grass-roots activism has inspired folks across the country, continues to spread the word about the state Democratic machine and the unions’ underhanded tactics. The local Fox affiliate in Chicago followed up with a report today. Watch it:
Reader Ron e-mails:
Thanks for your focus on SEIU in the state of Illinois. Here in WA State SEIU has used its money and the Initiative process to gain collective bargaining agreement with the executive branch for all “long term care providers”. This definition includes parents of offspring with developmental disabilities and those we hire to help with the daily challenges. Those we hire are not career path providers but young people with good hearts, flexible schedules allowing 4-10 hrs a week to help – help that is greatly appreciated.
SEIU has managed to increase training requirement from 28 hrs to 72 order to work. The current curriculum is irrelevant for those providing services to the “dd” population and the cost will now balloon to $42M to for training. SEIU’s ultimate goal is to control the training – revenue/profit center and become through a union hall the controlling source for care providers.
I’m a parent of a 27 yr old with profound “did” and appalled at breadth and depth of SEIU’s influence at our State capitol – over politicians and public policy. They organized here in early 2000’s and have rapidly “taken over”. There has been no noticeable evidence of political backbone at the legislative or executive level to restrain SEIU’s meddling. With that said I predict continue growth of their base and influence which will exacerbate the current burden they impose on our family and misdirects scarce state resources for self serving purposes masqueraded as necessary benefits to their members and the people they serve – the aging and “dd communities”.
Enough for now! Please continue to follow their path and give voice to help pierce their slogans, reveal the real stories, expose the weak kneed “polls”, and speak to the heart of the matter – this union gains a foot hold by making initial gains for the under paid under served worker but thereafter it garners power, influence, and money that accrues to the upper ranks while perpetuating the charade being a worker’s union.
Reader Martha e-mails:
Dear Ms. Malkin,
I want to congratulate you on the excellent reporting and thank you for continuing to expose what SEIU is doing. As a mother of a 28 yr. old severely developmentally disabled son who lives at home, in Washington state, I know what SEIU has done here. There are 2 things that have directly affected us as caregivers for our son in the past 2 yrs. One is the deceptive initiative last Nov. that 70% of the voters passed, which increased training requirements for caregivers applying for a contract with the state beginning 2010. Parents would need to complete 12 hrs. of training which was originally only 6 hrs. ALL other caregivers, (part-time, sibling, other relative, career) would have to complete 75 hrs., which was originally only 28, in order to be contracted with the state. We fought this for several yrs. in bill form, and the persistence of the union won when they presented it to the people under the guise, “don’t you want your grandmother to have the best trained caregiver”, and not attaching a cost to the state, to the initiative. The Seattle Times was against the initiative, as was every other paper in the state, and after the initiative passed, the Times editorial read “Misguided Compassion”.
The last legislative session was another blow when SEIU managed at the last minute to get a bill proposed, (the same bill was proposed early in the session and didn’t make it out of committee, then it was slipped into the budget writing and removed), which mandated that ALL family caregivers could NOT work through an agency and must return to working directly with the state as individual providers. We fought, and the bill was passed with an amendment stating that if you were older than the client you could remain with the agency as your employer. That saved parents and older siblings from transitioning from agencies. Our agency is non-union. Forcing us back to the state automatically puts us back in the union. After the governor had signed the budget, which had this amended bill in it, WA state DSHS decided that the bill might be age discriminatory and decided to dismiss the amendment and order ALL family members out of agencies. That is where we are today. So SEIU is not just after enrollment, they are after training requirement money as well. Being an agency employee, the state reimburses the agency and the agency pays the caregiver, meant I could get medical insurance for my sons as well as myself. Being a “state employee” (which they claim I am not, I am an independent contractor, and my disabled son is my employer) I can only get insurance for myself, no dependents. This state is run by the union and their power scares me. It greatly angers me as a taxpayer as well as a family caregiver.
Please convey my admiration to Pam Harris for speaking up while there is still time to vote. I wish Washington could go back to that point. SEIU will destroy state budgets and cause families trying to take care of their loved one more hardship.
Please keep this topic in the news to remind voters, and keep up the good work.
Reader Tom in California e-mails:
FYI – we have an autistic daughter that we receive some in-home support money from the state (California) for the work we do to keep her at home as opposed to putting her in a group home (which would really cost the state $$$). We get about $300 per month. Every month there is a deduction of $12.00 for the SEIU. It really frosts me that those thugs get the money and we have absolutely no say – we never signed up for the union and would never if we were asked.
Love your site – keep up the good fight.
In occupied San Jose
And tipster C. in Illinois e-mails a piece of SEIU-promoting propaganda (click here for PDF):
This was emailed to me from several families in Illinois who are livid at receiving this letter and wondering how an organization from Michigan has become involved in their personal lives.
I have been “gagged” as an employee of a provider and ask that you keep me anonymous in forwarding you this information.
My personal opinion is that this is an absolute tradegy for the individuals with disabilities and families who have been inundated by power hungry-all I care about is collecting union dues-money-grabbers who care nothing about individuals with disabilities.
As Mark Mix of the National Right to Work Committee warned last month, what the SEIU and its Big Labor competitors are doing in the states, Obamacare will do nationwide.
Related: Doug Ross provides you a handy guide to all the union puppet masters.