Taking a page from President Barack Obama’s governance by Executive Order, Governor Rod Blagojevich ordered the unionization of all home health care workers in 2003.
(No, I am wrong. Blagojevich may have provided an example for Obama to follow.)
The 2003 Executive Order was all about union dues.
I’m remembering 60-80,000 people involved. (Tuesday, the Tribune said that the Illinois number was 20,000.)
$3.6 million in dues a year, the Court decision says.
The Service Employees International Union beat out the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Union to the honeypot
SIEU was Blagojevich’s largest contributor to his 2002 gubernatorial campaign.
While the Executive Order established the dues-paying relationship, the Democratic Party-controlled General Assembly codified it.
Obama has not been able to follow that example with the Republicans in control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The summary of the decision on what the Court calls”partial-public employees” or “quasi-public employees” of “simply private employees” is below:
The case makes a distinction between tradition state employees and those like home health care providers or personal assistants in which “the state is not acting in a traditional employer role” (p. 34). See below from pages 17 and 18 of the decision:
The Supreme Court seems to be connecting the dual role of collective bargaining and political lobbying (when collective bargaining does not obtain what the unions want) with the pension cliff hanging over Illinois taxpayers, as you can see below:
- vacation time
- Health Savings Accounts
- job sharing privileges
- sick leave bank
- whistleblower protection
- deferred compensation
- behavioral health programs
- flexible spending accounts
The Supreme Court again notes that collective bargaining is the only reason for defining these providers of home care as “state employees.”
Footnote 10 explains the logic of the decision:
All of this and much more led to this conclusion of the 39 page opinion:
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Here’s commentary by Warner Todd Huston.
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A reader challenged me with regard to my laying the blame on Democrats for passage of the “you are a state employee, but only for purposes of unionization” bill. He sent me the roll call links. You can see the roll calls below. There are three of them.
The first is the original House passage on April 4, 2003:
Next, the State Senate amended the bill on May 29, 2003. Here is final passage in the Senate:
Finally, on May 31, 2003, the House again voted on the changes that the State Senate made. No one voted against the bill.
Here is a description of what the State Senate passed and the House approved:
Amends the Disabled Persons Rehabilitation Act and the Illinois Public Labor Relations Act. Provides that, after the effective date of this amendatory Act, personal care attendants and personal assistants providing services under the Department of Human Services’ Home Services Program shall be considered to be public employees, and the State shall be considered to be their employer.
Provides that these provisions shall not be understood to limit the right of the persons receiving services to hire and fire personal care attendants and personal assistants or supervise them within the limitations set by the Home Services Program.
Provides that the State shall not be considered to be the employer of personal care attendants or personal assistants for purposes of vicarious liability in tort or for purposes of statutory retirement or health insurance benefits.
Provides that personal care attendants and personal assistants shall not be covered by the State Employees Group Insurance Act.
Provides that a labor organization recognized by Executive Order to represent personal care attendants or personal assistants shall be the exclusive representative of those individuals. [Emphasis added.]