News Story

No Lean Times For SEIU 'Dues Skim' Union Bosses

Marge Faville, head of Healthcare Michigan, the union that functions with dollars extracted from Medicaid checks, got a 7.3 percent raise last year.

She wasn't the only one. Most of the top officials in Healthcare Michigan garnered raises as well.

On March 30, Healthcare Michigan turned in its annual disclosure report to the national Office of Labor Management Standards. According to the report, Faville's annual salary increased from $144,154 in 2010 to $155,489 in 2011. When disbursements for office business were added in, her pay in 2011 totaled $171,974. Faville's salary increased 14.6 percent between 2008 (when it was $122,700) and 2011.

Healthcare Michigan, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, gets dues from tens of thousands of Michigan's so-called home health care workers. The vast majority of these “workers” are people who take care of homebound relatives or friends.

In 2005, these caregivers were netted into the union under a scheme that included a dummy employer and an unpublicized election. Continuation of the dues flow to the union is called the “home health care dues skim.” To date, the SEIU has collected more than $29 million that has been taken from so-called home health care workers.

Michigan's legislature has passed legislation (Senate Bill 1018) drafted to end the “skim.” It has been sent to Gov. Rick Snyder.

Meanwhile, the SEIU has taken steps toward mounting a petition drive to try to lock the unionization behind the “skim” into the state constitution.

Healthcare Michigan's 2011 annual report, called an “LM-2,” lists the amount of dues and fees collected as $11,974,800. All of the union's members are not home caregivers. Some are legitimate union members who work at facilities around the state. These members pay a higher dues rate. Of the $11,974,800 total, $7,130,343 was paid to the SEIU national union in Washington, D.C., as a “per capita tax.”

Both Healthcare Michigan's 2010 LM-2 and its 2011 LM-2 list the rates of its dues and fees as “NA” (not available).

In addition to Faville, several other members of the top brass at SEIU Healthcare Michigan received pay increases in 2011. Some employees listed in the report received less pay in 2011 than in 2010. Not all of the employees who received increases are highlighted in this article. On top of the regular pay, the report also listed what the employees received “with allowances and disbursements.” These are denoted as (w-a-d).

Secretary Treasurer Johnnie M. Jolliffi was paid a salary of $131,238 (total w-a-d $139,270) in 2010. In 2011, she received a raise, getting $139,871 (total w-a-d $147,156). Recording Secretary Sheila Gunn got paid $65,605 (total w-a-d $72,290) in 2010. It was increased in 2011 to $74,356 (total w-a-d $81,057).

Director of government affairs for the union, Robert Allison, is also on the Michigan League of Human Services board. In 2010, Allison was paid $87,863 by the union (total w-a-d $96,649). In 2011, it was bumped up to $91,359 (total w-a-d $102,007). Allison was involved with the union as far back as 2005.

Chief of Staff Mark Raleigh had a $93,003 salary in 2010 (total w-a-d $100,424). In 2011, it was boosted to $96,733 (total w-a-d $107,516).

Director of Finance Charles Labaito had a salary of $80,215 (total w-a-d $87,505) in 2010. In 2011, he got $82,375 (total w-a-d $89,778), but it was listed under disbursements to employees.

Loretta Briggs was listed as executive board chief of staff in the 2010 report, when she received $64,172 (total w-a-d $72,497). In 2011, Briggs was listed as “administration.” She got an increase to $65,510 (total w-a-d $73,161).

Luke Canfora, political director, was paid $44,615 (total w-a-d $ 47,165) in 2010. In 2011, that jumped to $80,000, (total w-a-d $85,100).

Marcella Clark, an organizer, had a salary of $64,172 (total w-a-d $70,844) in 2010. She got an increase in 2011 to $70,454 (total w-a-d $78,697). She was involved in an action against the SEIU back in 2003. 

Freddy Polanco Marte, listed as a home care director, had a salary of $62,002 (total w-a-d $70,132) in 2010. In 2011, he got a raise to $64,488 (total w-a-d  $72,305).

John Freeman was on the union's payroll in 2011 as a state council member and was paid $54,750  (total w-a-d $58,575). Freeman was the former ACORN community organizer who penciled in the dummy employer for the unionization back in 2005.

A repeated complaint critics of Healthcare Michigan have alleged about the union is nepotism. La Rohns Joliffi is listed in the report as having received disbursements of $33,442 (total w-a-d $40,182) in 2011. However, according to news accounts, the correct name is LaRohn Jolliffi, with the last name spelled the same as that of the secretary treasurer, Johnnie Jolliffi.

Zachary Altefogt, head of communications, had a $72,336 salary in 2010 (total w-a-d $80,004).  In 2011, he received $83,077, listed under disbursements to employees, (total w-a-d $89,677). Altefogt has not returned emails or phone calls seeking comment for several dozen Michigan Capitol Confidential articles about his employer.

Altefogt did not respond to a phone call for comment on this article.

In spite of the pay increases, the totals for Officer Disbursements were lower in 2011, according to the LM-2, than in the 2010 report. However, total disbursements to employees were up in the 2011 report.

  • 2010 - Total Officer Disbursements - $591,654 (w-p-a - $656,694), with deductions subtracted - $489,148;
  • 2011 -  Total Officer Disbursements - $517,145 (w-p-a $560,937), with deductions subtracted - $378,745;
  • 2010- Total disbursements to employees - $3,154,225 (w-p-a $3,562, 329), with deductions subtracted - $2,409,741;
  • 2011 Total disbursements to employees - $3,299,892 (w-p-a $3,670,083), with deductions subtracted - $2,787,916.


See also:

MichCapCon Coverage of the SEIU

Michigan Health Care Workers Seeking Exit from Scandal-Ridden SEIU Affiliate

Government Incompetence At Its Worst – The Tragedy of the Forced Unionization of Home Workers