SEIU Tries to Continue Dues Scheme

Leaked document maps out 'dues skim' plan

The Michigan Capitol Confidential article about a leaked document from the Service Employees International Union on how the union hopes to continue its "dues skim" against home-based caregivers is interesting, but more significant is how the union explains the whole unionization scheme.

The crux of the debate is over the unionization of more than 45,000 home-based caregivers. The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, which is representing some of those forced to be in the union, maintains that the skim was illegal because the caregivers are not state employees — they work for private individuals who happen to receive public money. If doing so makes the caregivers liable to be forced into a union, then the same arguably could happen to doctors who accept Medicare and Medicaid payment for services, grocery store owners who take food stamps and landlords who are paid with housing stipends.

Few people would be bold enough to make that case.

The SEIU Healthcare Michigan has maintained that the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) is the public employer of the caregivers. The MQC3 is the shell group the union used to help pull off the scheme. After a series of events, it was shut down by the Legislature. But before that, the MQC3 itself maintained that it was not the employer, according to information obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request by Michigan Capitol Confidential last year.

As Jack Spencer noted in his recent article:

At several points in the document, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (the entity that was created to help coordinate payments to the union) is referred to as the "employer" of the caregivers. At one point, the document states that "the State had already taken steps to dismantle MQC3, meaning that there would be no employer with whom to bargain after April 2013."
It is significant that the SEIU calls the MQC3 the employer of those workers because the MQC3 disagreed. In a Freedom of Information Act request last year, documents from the MQC3 to home caregivers specifically said the MQC3 was not the employer. Under the heading: "What the MQC3 Is Not" it said in bold: "We are not your employer: The Consumer is your employer."

The agency used as the "employer" of the caregivers claims it never was the employer.

So why does the SEIU maintain otherwise? Because if it admits the MQC3 is not the employer, the unionization would not be legal.