May 20, 2010

Republicans circumvent legal election to kill union and hurt kids


LANSING – Republicans cannot stop workers from organizing and improving their lot through the legal way with an election, so they went around the election Wednesday with approval of Senate Bill 1158 that provides the budget for the Department of Human Services

The Senate budget calls for de-funding the Home-Based Child Care Council and stop the collection of union dues. You will recall that 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.

The Michigan Quality Community Care Council is a standalone public body created by inter-local agreement under the Urban Cooperation Act of 1967 charged with the mission of improving professional development opportunities for home based child care providers, but Republicans like the rightwing think tank Mackinac Center falsely claims it will strengthen the union.

Sen. Gilda Jacobs, D-Huntington Woods, offered one of the best defenses of the union on the Senate floor I have heard since this GOP attack began.

“I stand here today to be somewhat of a truth squad because I think it is important that what has been described as questionable and forced unionization of home-based child care workers is not that at all,” she said. “The fact of the matter is that the union was ratified through an election process that was entirely proper and legal. Ninety-eight percent of the workers who voted in the election voted in favor of unionization. At no point was the validity of that election challenged through the normal procedures provided by our labor laws.”

This is just one more GOP attempt to kill unions and make Michigan a so-called “Right to work state” when the fact is anyone can opt out of the union.

“In any event, no one is forcing workers who do not want to be part of the union to join,” Jacobs said. “Both Michigan and federal law prohibit compulsory union membership. Any employee who wishes can refrain from joining the union by paying a small representation fee.”

Sen. Ray Basham, D-Taylor, a retired Ford autoworker, also defended unions, saying unions are middle-income people and consumers, and when we lose union members the consumers in this country continue to decline.

“So unions have actually been very, very good for Michigan,” he said. “When we had more union people, we were actually above the national average when it came to income, consumers, and people with a good quality of life. I would take umbrage with the Senator from the 29th District when he starts to bash unions.”

The budget narrowly passed with a 20-18 with some Republicans – who usually vote in lockstep - crossing over to vote with the Democrats. The Governor had recommended 527 new child protective services workers to comply with the children's rights lawsuit settlement and the increased caseload, but the Senate approved just 151 new workers. The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.

23 comments:

Not Anonymous said...

The key line in this is "Of the ninety eight percent who voted".

There are 40,000 child care workers in the state of Michigan. The majority of which are private businesses in private homes. There were only 6,000 that voted in this election which was not well publicized.

In other words, this election was done in such a way as to favor the end result the way the SEIU and AFSCME wanted it to come out.

It's akin to the ballot box being stuffed before the voting began. 34,000 child care providers are forced into a union without voting.

Communications guru said...

So, we should invalidate the 2000 Presidential election because there was not a 100 percent voter turnout? The answer is no here, as well as for this election.

The election was conducted legally and properly, and that’s why no one is challenging the actual election.

Not Anonymous said...

Wrong. There are approximately 30,000 people challenging the vote and how it was handled.

Communications guru said...

Wrong. There is no one challenging the vote and how it was handled. The rightwing, anti-union think tank Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit claming that because not everybody voted, the election is somehow invalid. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected ridiculous claim, so while the case is under appeal, they turned to the Legislature where the anti-union Republicans were very receptive.

Like Gilda Jacobs said, “At no point was the validity of that election challenged through the normal procedures provided by our labor laws.”

Not Anonymous said...

http://www.nrtw.org/en/blog/michigan-home-care-providers-file-class-action-02172010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612341241120838.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2428974/posts

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/04/29/opinion/srv0000008149855.txt

http://www.speroforum.com/a/32382/Forced-Unionization-in-Michigan-Stealing-Candy-from-a-Baby

Here's what the possibilities are.

1. The class action lawsuit puts an end to it and the union scheme is null and void.

2. A published date of election will be re-held for a more accurate accounting where everyone is able to participate without the date, time, place, and/or method is not hidden in some obscure newspaper in fine print.

3. The new scheme remains. Child care providers will then tell their clients that have their child care paid for by taxpayers through the State that they no longer accept state payments on child care. Parents either pay their own bill or they'll have to find care elsewhere.

If number three if followed, alot of people that are poor enough to need welfare and have taxpayers foot the bill for their child care will now have to try to find a day care provider that accepts state taxpayer money for their care.

In other words, this will hurt those that claim to need the most help.

This is just like the health care bill. We're already seeing doctors offices with signs that say "medicaid no longer accepted". Now we'll see outside of child care providers homes "DHS assistance is not accepted here."

Not Anonymous said...

I left out another possibility. If Child care providers are forced into the union and still want to provide care for those that have their child care paid for by taxpayers, they will raise their rates to cover those costs. If a child care provider is smart, they will itemize each bill and list the union dues as part of the bill. If they do that, the state won't pay that part of the bill. The parent will. Which means that the parent that can't afford child care and must depend on taxpayer money for their babysitting costs, will now have to come up a higher figure that they have to pay out of pocket.

The DHS doesn't cover the entire cost. They cover about 90% of it, but they won't cover union dues. If they do, then they have a problem with citizens who don't use child care but are now paying for union dues without their permission. Forced unionization people that aren't even involved. You can really expect the lawsuits to pile up then.

This is another Socialist Democrat job killer.

Communications guru said...

First, it’s not a scheme; it’s a lawfully conducted vote as overseen by federal and state law and the NLRB. Second, it had already had its day in court and lost.

“We're already seeing doctor’s offices with signs that say "Medicaid no longer accepted?” I haven’t, and what does that have to do with the union or even the health insurance reform bill?

Wow, you did a lot of traveling to get to the lie that “This is another Socialist Democrat job killer,” the least of which there is no such thing as a “Socialist Democrat” in this country, and that is just a false, fascist Republican talking point.

Being part of a union is more than just receiving a decent wage; just ask the miners in West Virginia, at least the ones that are still alive.

There is no “Forced unionization.”

Not Anonymous said...

http://www.freep.com/article/20100420/NEWS06/4200315/1322/Union-offered-home-day-care-providers-pay-benefits

Gee, union thugs showing up at a child care home.

The vote was conducted as a mail in, and it came looking like junk mail. Even a union member admits this.

According to the Free Press, Granholm created a shell company situation to get this going. Oh, and it's also one of the last things that Blagovich (sp) did before he was impeached and removed from office in Illinois.

This is nothing more than a payoff to SEIU and AFSCME for their support in the elections. Typical of Socialist Democrats to buy votes in this manner.

But alas, you can take a jackass to water, but you can't make it drink.

Communications guru said...

First, there is no such thing as a “union thug.” Union members are working men and women, including child care workers.

Once again, anonymous, the election was a lawfully conducted vote as overseen by federal and state law and the NLRB. At no point was the validity of that election challenged through the normal procedures provided by our labor laws.

Long on accusation, zero on proof, as usual from you, anonymous. Once again, anonymous, there is no such thing as a “Socialist Democrat” in this country, and that is just a false, fascist Republican talking point.

I don’t know about a jackass; you would know more about that than me.

Johnny C said...

http://www.nrtw.org/en/blog/michigan-home-care-providers-file-class-action-02172010

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703478704574612341241120838.html

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2428974/posts

http://www.dailytribune.com/articles/2010/04/29/opinion/srv0000008149855.txt

http://www.speroforum.com/a/32382/Forced-Unionization-in-Michigan-Stealing-Candy-from-a-Baby


I'm not surprised that Not Anonymous is using right wing sites links to back up his talking points.

Silver Kait said...

From the article: “In any event, no one is forcing workers who do not want to be part of the union to join,” Jacobs said. “Both Michigan and federal law prohibit compulsory union membership. Any employee who wishes can refrain from joining the union by paying a small representation fee.”

In other words, no matter what pretty words anyone uses to describe the reasons why it happens, even if you "opt out" yer in...

In fact, this kind of thing is old hat; lots of people and institutions do/did it.

Unions do it.

The Government just did it with (Obamacare)

Islam does it too. You can be any religion you want to in a country that names itself "Islamic", but if you choose not to be Muslim, you pay a Dhimmi tax (a small representation fee).

Other words used to describe it are .. jizya... protection money ... tribute ... poll tax.

I call it a load of ...

Silver Kait said...

Not Anonymous said: It's akin to the ballot box being stuffed before the voting began. 34,000 child care providers are forced into a union without voting.

You are correct ... it's like automatically assigning no show votes, before the count, to whichever candidate loses ... ; but not telling anyone about it (not in any truly meaningful way in any event). John McCain could have won the election if we conducted presidential elections the way unions do some of their business.

Silver Kait said...

Not Anonymous,
I was going to go through and agree or comment on all your comments (and I may still decide to comment on one or more), but just in case I get distracted or lose this link, I want to tell you that although I have not visited all the links you provided, I do agree with everything you've said here.

Bless you for speaking up.

Communications guru said...

The load of shit is your comments, and you made a heck of a stretch to compare the protection of a union to a poll tax.

Sen. Jacobs is correct; no one is forcing workers who do not want to be part of the union to join. Both Michigan and federal law prohibit compulsory union membership. Any employee who wishes can refrain from joining the union by paying a small representation fee.

I know Republicans want something for nothing, but not this time. You get the protection and benefits of a union, but you don’t want to pay for it. Typical.

Communications guru said...

Both you and anonymous are wrong. The election was conduced in accordance with state and federal labor law. It’s been challenged in court by anti-workers groups, and the claim has been rejected.

Silver Kait said...

Guru said: The load of shit is your comments, and you made a heck of a stretch to compare the protection of a union to a poll tax.

How is it a stretch? It's the exact same thing.

Obamacare - Pay a fee for not participating in the national healthcare deal.

Unions - Pay a small representation fee to be allowed the privilege of not being in the union.

jizya - Christans pay a fee for the privilege of being allowed to not be Muslim.

Or look at the other way around.

jizya - For a small yearly fee Muslims will allow you to not be Muslim.

Obamacare - For a small fine you are allowed to not buy insurance.

Unions - For a small fee unions will let you refuse to be a member.

Seems no matter how you look at it, it's the same thing; just different words and different groups. It's protection money, graft, a tribute, a tax, a fine, a fee for nonservice, and yes it's a stretch to call it a poll tax but that's what they call it in Muslim countries.

Jizya - a poll tax on Christians and Jews.

Small representation fee - a virtual poll tax on non union members

Silver Kait said...

Guru said: Sen. Jacobs is correct; no one is forcing workers who do not want to be part of the union to join. Both Michigan and federal law prohibit compulsory union membership. Any employee who wishes can refrain from joining the union by paying a small representation fee.

Doubletalk.

No one is forcing workers to be part of the union, but still they have to pay any way.

Michigan and federal law prohibits compulsory union membership; but doesn't seem to prohibit unions from making people pay a trubute for NOT accepting membership.

If an employee can refrain from joining the union, why can't he refrain from paying for the membership/representation he doesn't want? It's silly.

Silver Kait said...

Guru said: I know Republicans want something for nothing, but not this time.

Republicans want something for nothing? Can you give me a specific example of that?

Guru also said: You get the protection and benefits of a union, but you don’t want to pay for it. Typical..

But ... was there a lawsuit at some point in time in which someone who was not a member of a union sued the union because they didn't get the union representation they had rejected? I'm asking seriously because it seems silly either way.

Seems silly for someone who does not want to be a member of a union to insist the unions represent him in any case (unless it was a situation caused by the union in the first place in order to intimidate said someone into finally becoming a member).

But the possible turnabout situation seems just as silly. It would be silly for a union to insist on (or agree to) representing a non member and then complain because the non member hadn't paid a union fee or the nonmember fee.

Communications guru said...

Easy, it’s not forced unionization, anymore than I was forced to have George Bush as my president. I didn’t vote for him, yet I was stuck with him.

As for the health care insurance reform, you pay a tax for not buying affordable health insurance.

Unions - Pay a small representation fee to benefit from what the unions bring, like increased wages and benefits, safe working condition, professional development and representation if you are unjustly fired.

Silver Kait said...

Guru, you said: Easy, it’s not forced unionization, anymore than I was forced to have George Bush as my president. I didn’t vote for him, yet I was stuck with him.

That's for a national election. If we are citizens, it's our responsibility... even our duty to find out who, when, what, and where in order that we may participate in them. Not doing those things does indeed result in a consequence for us. And should.

But a Union? Last I looked that kind of thing was so not on a par with ... well, it's not like voting for the POTUS.

Voting union or not is more like (or should be viewed more like) deciding whether or not to buy a dog from your local pet store.

You don't automatically get charged a monthly vet fee because you didn't go to the store and tell them you didn't want the dog. If ya think it's more high tone than that then we have more of a problem in the U.S. than I thought. :(

Communications guru said...

Yes, for a union. When a majority of people support a union, management throws up one more roadblock, and an election is held overseen by the NLRB.

Communications guru said...

Again, Sen. Jacobs is correct, “no one is forcing workers who do not want to be part of the union to join. Both Michigan and federal law prohibit compulsory union membership. Any employee who wishes can refrain from joining the union by paying a small representation fee.”

Straight talk.

It’s not a “tribute.”, it’s paying for the benefits they receive. Why do Republicans always want something for nothing?

Communications guru said...

Yes, Republicans want something for nothing. The example of the union is just one. They don’t want to pay taxes, but they use and want all the things taxes bring us.

I don’t know about a lawsuit, but federal law requires the union to represent that non-union member. If, for example, a nonunion worker is fired illegally, the union must finance the expensive legal proceedings to defend him or her.