It’s Payback Time

By | March 5, 2013

PappasUnions like AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) spent $100 million to elect federal, state and local candidates across the country in 2012 and now they want their payback.

In Minnesota, union influence was purchased with more than $11 million. Payback is taking the form of increasing the number of dues-paying members through bully legislation.

Making its way through Minnesota Senate committees is a rehashed proposal to force private business owners and sole proprietors to join a union or be forced to pay a “fair share” penalty.

The bill, Senate File 778, states that any child care provider who accepts clients who are subsidized by the state Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) must, under penalty of the law, join the union or pay the “fair share” fee of $25 per month. There are approximately 9,000 business owners and child care providers that would be affected by this part of the law.

Minnesota Senate State and Local Government Committee met Monday and was greeted by a large crowd of both opposition and support. Chief author of SF 778, Senator Sandra Pappas, who was endorsed by AFSCME and SEIU (Service Employees International Union) in her 2012 campaign, presented her proposal along side union bosses and sobbing testifiers. Executive Director of AFSCME Eliot Seide testified in favor of Pappas’ bill. He was paid over $122,000 last year by the union. According to union members present at the senate committee hearing, both AFSCME and SEIU would see an increase in membership if the bill becomes law.

According to testimony at the hearing, child care providers already have the option to join AFSCME and a total of 57, out of more than 9,000, have already done so.

Republican members of the Senate State and Local Government Committee had harsh words and presented stiff opposition to Pappas’ bills. Senator Brandon Petersen criticized the bill saying, “…you’re talking about unionizing small business owners… Isn’t this just a plan to syphon off dues money for the unions?”

Petersen was visibly frustrated throughout the meeting. Referring to a provision in the bill that would make the State of Minnesota the “employer of record” for all child care providers, Petersen asked, “Home child care providers are not employees. Why are we trying to unionized small business owners?”

Pappas embarassed

One testifier in opposition to the union power grab took it upon herself to call child care providers in Pappas’ district to find out if they wanted to be unionized. Becky Swanson, a licensed child care professional, only found three. Swanson urged members of the committee to return to their districts and find out for themselves if their constituents are in favor of forced unionization.

Hollie Saville also testified before the committee in opposition to the bill. She quipped, “I brought a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence,” as she waved the booklets in her hands, “Perhaps some need a refresher on them.”

Republican Senator Dave Thompson asked Pappas if there was any way to know how many providers who currently take CCAP clients will stop taking low income family clients because of this forced unionization. Pappas simply replied, “no.”

Consequences and the Democrat War on Poverty

Republican Senator Dave Thompson exposed a consequence of the bill. Many in-home child care providers currently take clients who receive CCAP funding. That funding follows the low income family, not the provider. CCAP is a reimbursement to the provider. Thompson wanted it on record that he finds it “unbelievable that you would suggest people give up a large portion of their income OR join a union and pay dues.” Senator Dan Hall suggested this was a form of bullying.

In response, Pappas confirmed that providers would have to pay union dues or fair share fees, or turn away low income families.

By that rationale, Pappas and those who would vote for this bill are aware that some low income families would have to find new child care providers. In theory, Pappas is encouraging the mass exodus of licensed in-home providers and forcing low income families into more expensive, union-backed facilities that will likely have higher costs. These costs will be the burden of the tax payers in Minnesota.

More to the bill than child care

Not only does SF 778 establish a new and expensive state board, a coucil, and other administrative bureaucracy, it also attempts to unionize unlicensed in-home care givers like those caring for a disabled child or aging parent.

A Star Tribune report breaks down this part of the bill accordingly.

According to Katy Chase, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, unlicensed providers are often relatives or neighbors who do not have to meet the requirements of licensed providers. “You’re talking grammas and grampas, families and neighbors,” she said.
“To have them included in a bill that’s talking about negotiating things that wouldn’t even come into play for them — we don’t think they should be included,” said Chase, whose organization will oppose the AFSCME-backed bill.
At the same time, a former union supporter, Kathy Stevens, who provides licensed family child care in Brainerd and was once active in the union effort, issued a statement saying the union engaged in “unethical tactics in signing unlicensed providers.” She said the reason for doing so was to win votes for the unionization attempt.
“Legally unlicensed providers are a mere pawn in the numbers game to obtain votes,” Stevens said in her statement, which was submitted to the Senate committee.

Should the unionization of small in-home child care business owners pass in the MN Senate, it will also likely pass the state House. Both senate and house are led by a democrat majority. Many of the democrats in both the senate and house were endorsed by AFSCME and SEIU in the last 2 election cycles, as was Governor Mark Dayton, who would sign it into law.

To see a comprehensive list of unions & their influence on Minnesota politics, click here:
Shot In The Dark – Unions Buy Minnesota

See others who are influenced by union campaign contributions in Minnesota here: Bought & Paid For
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4 thoughts on “It’s Payback Time

  1. Arnonerik

    This bill would definitely strengthen Union power (at least initially). It would also pave the way for Republicans and real Independents to gain political power in that State as the people begin to realize that Democrats will take care of special interests to the detriment of the majority of the voters. If passed, this could break the back of the Donkey Party in Minnesota.

  2. Stephen Mendelsohn

    The forced unionzation of personal care attendants (PCAs) is even worse than that being done to family child care providers. Cathy Ludlum employs about a dozen PCAs who enable her to live an independent life; she notes in a video produced by AFP Connecticut that unionization could wind up pushing people with high end needs into institutions by inflating the cost of the services: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS9wkHFaio4 It also interferes with the right of an employer with a disability to control the relationship with their PCAs including individualized training. Mandatory unionized training, as exists in Washington state, means that people with disabilities will have to untrain and retrain PCAs to fit their individualized needs. Disability activists in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Montana, and elsewhere have resisted PCA unionization. Here are some more links on the issue:

    http://qualityhomecareworkforce.weebly.com/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLlgBvTzTko
    http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/2012/07/executive-order-forced-unionization-lawsuits-take-center-stage-in-court/
    http://vimeo.com/39012876
    http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/lawmakers_say_list_of_personal_attendants_doesnt_belong_in_union_hands/

    And from Michigan, which just abolished this scheme after SEIU looted over $34 million from Michigan Medicaid checks: http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/17773
    http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/16001

    And I would be glad to share much more, which I have posted on our Facebook group, Stop the SEIU from Hijacking Care Providers at https://www.facebook.com/groups/185712171462620/

  3. Jan Brown

    Minnisota is just one State caught up in the muscle flexing of the ‘almighty Unions. Their membership is repotedly on the decline so perhaps joining the Judicial, Legislative & Executive branches as a fouth branch, the will survive as an ‘official’ part of our Great, Beloved Nation. (the same one they berate at every opportunity) The time for Unions has passed, but they just ‘hang around’ like that comfy pair of slippers or robe I left in my closet for years before finally admitting they were useless & no amount of rationalizion would change it & relegated them to the trash. This effort is not Constitutional. IF the Union succeeds in Minnisota, your state could be the next battle front. Keeping ever in mind, Eric Holder is NOT on the side of anyone or State that acknowledgs the U>S> Constitution, see if you can find a way to help the Conservatives in Minnisota hold the line. I’m going to contact Senator Brandon Peterson (R-Min) to see what a Texan might do….this may be a chance to put some action with my words…

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