'Where were they when the unions were running around creating fake employers so they could siphon off money?'
It's not often a state workers' union representative complains about the state adding government jobs.
But that's what happened when the Detroit Free Press published an article with the headline: "Michigan right-to-work law creates at least two jobs; taxpayers to foot bill."
The article said there will be one new specialist position and one or two clerical positions in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs in response to the enactment of the state's new right-to-work law. It quoted one union official critical of the hiring.
"It's ridiculous," Ray Holman, legislative liaison for UAW Local 6000, the largest state employee union, said in the Free Press. "I'm looking here every day seeing the people I represent doing the work of two or three people. … For that type of money, you could hire two DHS (Department of Human Services) front-line workers."
However, Mackinac Center for Public Policy Senior Legislative Analyst Jack McHugh said new laws are enacted all the time that require changes in staffing.
"Last year a new law was enacted requiring the state to develop educational materials related to student athlete concussions; another expanded fingerprint and background check requirements for municipal bus drivers; and a third authorized $613 million new borrowing and spending for state university construction projects," McHugh said. "These and countless others enacted every year give government employees more to do, and may well require hiring more of them. Yet I don't recall unions (or mainstream media reporters) complaining about those expansions — so why did they suddenly become tea-party like spending hawks on this one?"
Holman declined to comment.
Union representatives were silent in June 2004 when the Michigan Quality Community Care Council was created when Jennifer Granholm was governor. The MQC3 worked with the Service Employees International Union to manage the collection of dues taken from more than 44,000 home-based caregivers. The MQC3 created at least four employees with a combined salary of $177,000, according to state documents. The MQC3’s funding came from the state's Community Health Department.
The unions benefited from those jobs and that agency because it allowed the SEIU to take more than $33.7 million from the Medicaid checks of the state's elderly and disabled.
"All these people are now all of a sudden monitoring the governor's jobs creation," said Patrick Wright, senior legal analyst for the Mackinac Center. "Where were they when the unions were running around creating fake employers so they could siphon off money?"