May 27, 2010

Congressional candidate hopes stealth passage of bill silences critics

LANSING -- Election politics is playing a role in Republican efforts to break a new union and circumvent a legal election to form a collective bargaining unit to represent home-based child care workers.

Last year child care workers organized the Child Care Providers Together Michigan (CCPTM) union, a joint venture between United Auto Workers (UAW) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC) certified CCPTM as the sole bargaining unit for all home-based child care providers receiving reimbursement payments from the Michigan Child Development and Care Program. Senate Republicans have tried everything possible to kill the union, making the false claim worked were forcibly unionized.

State Sen. Jason Allen, R-Alanson, has been criticized by conservatives for sponsoring Senate Bill 731 that would have created the Michigan Quality Community Care Council. Anti-union groups like the rightwing think tank Mackinac Center falsely claims it will strengthen the union. The council would simply be responsible for working to preserve consumer selection and self-direction of providers.

Allen is running for the U.S. Congressional seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Bartt Stupak, D-Menominee. Allen has a primary opponent, and his opponent, Dan Benishek, has called on Allen to drop his sponsorship of SB 731.

On Thursday Allen called an early morning meeting of the Committee on Senior Citizens and Veterans Affairs that he chairs and usually meets on Wednesday. The published agenda just said “any business to come properly before the committee.” What the committee did was vote out a substitute for SB 731. No debate was held.

The substitute bill creates something called the Home Help Advisory Council, but it inserts anti-union language that states a “legislative intent that the proposed Act not be interpreted to allow for the unionization of home help workers.”

“Unfortunately, it has become politicized by the forced unionization of home health care workers,” Allen said.


jrfoleyjr said...

Stealth passage should be nothing surprising to Democrats. We have seen a distinct lack of transparency in everything that has been done by the Democrats in DC throughout the past year.

Communications guru said...

You’re right, “jrfoleyjr,” Democrats are not surprised at stealth passage and a lack of transparency after eight years of the Bush Administration and 26 years of Republicans controlling the Michigan Senate.

I was also wondering if you had any thing constructive to add to the debate over Senate Bill 731 and the Republicans effort to undo a legal election?