Supreme Court ruling on home healthcare workers a setback for unions


LA Times:

Supreme Court ruling on home healthcare workers a setback for unions

The Supreme Court dealt a limited setback to organized labor Monday, ruling that personal home-care employees in Illinois cannot be forced to pay union dues. But to the relief of the nation’s largest unions, the justices refrained from extending the ruling to all public-sector workers, at least for now.In a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., the court said the home healthcare assistants, some of whom care for their own loved ones, had a constitutional right not to support a union they opposed.
The decision will make it more difficult in some states for unions to continue organizing home healthcare assistants, a rapidly growing segment of the workforce that is expected to double in the next decade thanks to the aging U.S. population. It could also apply to child care workers.

More ominously for unions, the decision practically invites the National Right to Work Foundation, which brought the case, to bring additional legal challenges that could apply the same legal reasoning to millions of other public workers.
“This is what the labor movement fears the worst,” said Gary Chaison, a professor and labor historian at Clark University in Massachusetts. “They’re worried about dying the death of 1,000 cuts. They’re losing the potency of their weapons.”
Beginning in 2003, Illinois officials agreed to designate home-care workers as “public employees” because they care for the disabled and are paid with government Medicaid funds. That cleared the way for the Service Employees International Union to organize them.


This seems very strange to me! I care for three elderly relatives full time at home and I surely would not appreciate having to pay a union for the privilege! What could I expect them to do for me? Serve notice to my husband to improve canteen facilities? I’m the cook! :blush:


May the Lord bless you mrsjenny for all you’re doing for your relatives. That’s more than a full time job! It’s ridiculous that anyone should have to pay union dues for caring for ill and elderly family members. Just shows how unions are not in it for the people, only for the power and the money.


I have one state disabled client among my others from our nursing agency.

I was told a few months back that I did not need to be a union member to receive benefits. Then when I got my paperwork together, they called to say I had to be a union member. People pay on insurance coverage. But it should be done through the state and not a union.

However, the union is to be applauded in our state as they are not partisan or sectarian in their work. I have been covered by my husband’s benefits, but saw so many mothers who had nothing for themselves or their children.


Ah; they’re lovely and we get along famously! If the Divil makes work for idle hands; it’s as well I haven’t time to be idle! :smiley:


Are you SEIU?




I signed up to be in the SEIU after much hesitation. I have baggage from witnessing the deceitfulness of a union in my telecommunications co. They were actually socialists. I saw an African country become Marxist and saw ‘stuff’ in the anti-American propaganda.

Then I saw what the SEIU had done in Wisconsin.

But the people who were doing this work are every day and moderate. It is because of them I joined. Now they called me about all of this yesterday and will get back to them today to see what is up. I work with one disabled woman with the state who is an incredible joy to work with. The other clients are through my nursing agency and now they are providing the same kind of coverage with no union. I thought when my client is no longer with me, I won’t pick up another disabled as it is physically hard on me. We are working with my client with alot of physical therapy and ongoing activities and hope we have her for as long as we can, such a blessing she is.


To me the worst part is if they decide to strike.


At least they won’t be part of the Illinois State Pension System. I understand the system has been bloated by other people who are not really state employees, like Special Olympics people. You are going to have to shake the money tree really hard to pay all those pensions eventually.


My biggest problem with the whole situation is that the care providers were never allowed to vote on whether they wanted to join a union, nor which union – it was all done by legislation.

I wonder why no union has never tried to take over my workplace. I work at a Catholic agency funded by the State and County depts. of soc. svcs. Catholic Charities and ofhter "Catholic Charities are in the same position, basically funded by taxpayer $$$.


There was a similar case in Michigan, but it was resolved via the legislature.

The SEIU was forcing family homecare workers to join the union. Interestingly enough, the union admitted that the homecare workers were not actually state employees and that they had no way of influencing the amount of compensation that the homecare workers, received, nor were they subject to union grevience procedures.

So the union was collecting money without providing a single benefit.

The leglislature made such a practice illegal in MI


Good point.


Ah; home carers would never, ever do that.


If they were required to join the union, they would be considered scabs if they crossed the picket line.


LOL!!! Can you imagine that? I’d have to train my fat, indolent cats to attack at the first sign of a placard! :stuck_out_tongue:


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