How the SEIU’s Financial Disclosure Form Makes the Case for Voluntary Rather Than Mandatory Union Dues

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What union leaders describe as a non-political expenditure on their financial disclosure forms are often quite political in the eyes of rank-and-file workers who support those activities with their union dues.

That’s why personal care assistants and child care workers who typically operate out of their private homes have a significant stake in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Quinn set for tomorrow morning. The plaintiffs seek to overturn an Illinois statute that categorizes personal care assistants as government workers subject to unionization. The eight individuals who brought the suit care for disabled individuals, mostly family members, who qualify for Medicaid payments. Pamela Harris, the lead plaintiff, is the primary caregiver for her disabled son.

“I don’t want my home to become a union workplace,” Harris wrote in an email message. “I don’t want a union contract inserted between my son and I. Unionizing a mom is intrusive and I believe, will interfere in his care. There is NO benefit to unionizing us. The Medicaid waiver is capped. There is no extra funding to negotiate higher wages or paid vacations. The person with the disability determines the rate of pay, the tasks to be done, when and how.”

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