The 100-word summary of Proposal 4 that will appear on the ballot states that the newly created MQHCC would “set minimum compensation standards and terms of employment.” The language of the actual constitutional amendment, however, states that the MQHCC’s power of “setting compensation standards … and other terms and conditions for the employment of individual providers by program participants” is “subject to appropriations by the Legislature.” [*],
In other words, any pay increases or improvements in benefits would be dependent on decisions by the Legislature, just as they currently are. Nothing would change. The Legislature would still determine, as it does now, how much the caregivers would be paid. The “collective bargaining agreement” between the MQHCC and any union representing in-home caregivers would be a nonbinding list of desired appropriations and provisions. Proposal 4 does not require the Legislature to make the appropriations necessary to provide the requests in the collective bargaining agreement.[†]
The Medicaid money paid to the caregivers comes from the federal government, passes through the state government and is sent to the care recipient. The MQC3 does not handle this money, and neither would the new MQHCC. The union would effectively serve as a lobbyist of the MQHCC and presumably the Legislature.[‡] The union would receive dues and agency fees withheld from care providers’ paychecks, however, meaning that caregivers could actually receive less take-home pay than they would without union representation.