Lansing, MI (May 11, 2011) – With free legal assistance from the National Right to Work Foundation, five homecare workers have reached a settlement with Governor Rick Snyder ensuring that Michigan will no longer be able to force home-based childcare providers into union ranks.
Carrie Schlaud, Diana Orr, Peggy Mashke, and Edward and Nora Gross originally filed a class-action suit against then-Governor Jennifer Granholm and a United Auto Workers (UAW) and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) coalition, the Child Care Providers Together Michigan (CCPTM) union, for designating homecare workers who accepted state assistance as state employees and forcing them to pay union dues and accept CCPTM “representation.”
Under Granholm’s direction, the Michigan Department of Human Services created an agency known as the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council to provide union officials with an entity to negotiate with as the homecare providers’ “management.” Working with the council, CCPTM operatives staged a union certification election to acquire monopoly bargaining privileges over Michigan homecare workers.
Although only 15 percent of the 40,000 homecare providers receiving state assistance voted in the union certification election, CCPTM union bosses were then granted monopoly bargaining privileges and the power to collect union dues from home-based care providers.
The Michigan Home Based Child Care Council has since been disbanded, but the new settlement ensures that the state will never force homecare workers to financially support a union as a condition of receiving state assistance.
Despite this victory, the plaintiffs and their Right to Work attorneys continue to pursue the class-action lawsuit against the CCPTM union to reclaim the forced dues collected from child care providers before the Michigan Home Based Child Care Council was dismantled. The plaintiffs and their attorneys are currently pressing their case at a hearing before the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Southern Division.
“We’re pleased that the settlement with Governor Snyder guarantees that Michigan homecare workers will never be forced into union ranks again,” said Patrick Semmens, Legal Information Director for the National Right to Work Foundation. “However, our work won’t be over until UAW and AFSCME union bosses are forced to give back over two million dollars in forced dues they extracted from unwilling childcare providers since 2008.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in more than 250 cases nationwide per year.