Back in June, I reminded you about the case of Harris v. Quinn — the class-action lawsuit challenging Illinois Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn’s SEIU-pandering executive order to allow union recruiters into the homes of families who provide in-residence care for their developmentally disabled loved ones. The corruptocrats in Illinois violated the privacy of home care providers by releasing their names to union goons looking to beef up their membership rolls. Pam Harris and other parents banded together to challenge the big government/big labor racket.
After four months of waiting, the families learned yesterday that the Supreme Court has granted cert.
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation announced:
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it is granting a writ of certiorari in a case that will decide whether Illinois homecare providers can be forced into union ranks against their will.
With the help of National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation staff attorneys, Pam Harris and seven other Illinois care providers are challenging a forced-unionism scheme enacted by Illinois Governors Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn on the grounds that it violates their rights to free expression and association by forcing them to subsidize union lobbying.
The case is a class-action lawsuit filed by the providers after Quinn signed an executive order designating 4,500 individuals who offer in-home care to disabled persons as “public employees,” thus rendering them vulnerable to unwanted union organizing. However, the scheme only designates providers as public employees for the purposes of unionization, leaving the homecare recipients as the employers for all other aspects of the providers’ work.
As a result of Quinn’s order, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) bosses have been competing to acquire monopoly bargaining control over this newly-created class of public employees.
Quinn’s executive order mirrored one issued by disgraced former Governor Blagojevich, which designated over 20,000 personal care providers as state workers solely for the purpose of forcing them into union ranks. Quinn then expanded Blagojevich’s directive to cover an additional 4,500 providers who were not included in the original order.
In a 2010 mail-in vote, those homecare providers emphatically rejected unionization by a two-to-one margin. But because of Quinn’s executive order, they’ll continue to face unionization drives until they capitulate. The personal care providers covered by Blagojevich’s executive order have already been forced to pay union fees to the SEIU.
“Forcing homecare providers into union ranks is just plain wrong,” said Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “We hope the High Court will protect the rights of Pam Harris and thousands of other care providers by striking down this constitutionally-dubious scheme.”
Pam Harris writes:
I have very good news to share!
Today, we learned that the Supreme Court has granted our petition for writ of certiorari. This means the Justices have agreed to hear our case’s oral arguments.
The Court usually only hears cases that could have national significance and actually only about 100-150 cases are accepted out of the more than 7,000 cases that are submitted each year. There are 17 other states where the union has been successful or is working with state legislators and governors to pass similar laws. Unions are pocketing precious funding intended to help support our sons and daughters. Our case intends to stop this scheme.
…As you know:
• In June 2009, Illinois’ Governor Quinn issued Executive Order 15, which allows for the collective bargaining of individual providers of the Home Based Support Services program. The majority of these individual provides are parents who are providing personal supports to their adult son or daughter with significant disabilities.
• Typically, the union relies on very little voter response. However, the following October, an overwhelming 66% voted against union representation and neither of the two unions seeking collective bargaining status received more than 20% of the vote.
• Despite this clear decision for NO union representation, the Executive Order does not have an expiration date and ignoring all our efforts to convince him otherwise, the Governor refused to rescind the order.
• The only reason the union is not actively seeking to unionize personal support workers in the Home Based program today is Harris v Quinn – our class action lawsuit against Governor Quinn and the SEIU.
The fight continues in other parts of the country. Reader Stephen e-mails:
We in the disability community in Connecticut have been fighting a similar for 4½ years: http://www.pcaunioninfo.com/connecticut.html
I have helped to put up a new website on this issue, PCA Union Information: http://www.pcaunioninfo.com
It is an important resource for anyone interested in learning more, complete with union contracts, videos of personal stories, and much more.
Thanks to Jennifer Parrish of the Coalition for Union Free Providers http://www.childcareunioninfo.com (they are suing Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton opposing a similar unionization scheme targeting family childcare providers) for putting up this website.