Day Care Providers React to DHS Decision on Illegal 'Union Dues'

'My government attacked the sanctity of my home just to benefit its political allies'

Home-based day care providers around Michigan are reacting with joy to the news that the Michigan Department of Human Services will stop illegal “union dues” withdrawals from the subsidy checks the small-business owners receive from the state for watching children of low-income parents.

“I’m thrilled. But this lawsuit should not have been necessary in the first place,” Sherry Loar, the lead plaintiff in Loar v. DHS, said after the ruling, according to WPBN TV-7&4 of Traverse City. “My government attacked the sanctity of my home just to benefit its political allies. I’m so happy to know that I’m no longer responsible to a union inside the walls of my own house.”

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A spokesperson for the DHS said the dues will stop being taken from day care providers on March 18.

“It’s a victorious day,” Michelle Berry, one of three plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation in September 2009, told The Flint Journal. “It’s been a long battle and an incredible two-year journey. I’m so thankful.”

Paulette Silverson, also a plaintiff in the case, told the Livingston Daily Press & Argus that if this decision had not been reached, day care providers would have been forced to charge low-income families covered by the subsidy checks more money in order to make up the difference for the forced dues.

“It takes that added concern away,” Silverson said.

Judy Runyan told WJRT-TV12 of Flint that about $100 a month in dues was taken from her.

"I guess it just puts money back in our pocket to buy things for the children and pay our bills, basically," Runyan said.

Debra Alexander-Maxie, a day care provider near Lansing, told the Lansing State Journal that the union was taking hundreds of dollars a month from her.