News Story

SEIU 'Dues Skim' Days Are Numbered

Work to get caregivers their money back continues

The contract that allows the Service Employees International Union to take money from home-based caregivers has a date for which it will finally end.

On Monday, the newly constituted Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) board affirmed that the contract upon which the SEIU "Dues Skim" is based will end Feb. 28, 2013. The board further announced that the MQC3 would officially be dissolved as of April 14, 2013.

"Finally, an end to the skim is in sight," said Patrick Wright, senior legal analyst for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. "We are still trying to get the caregivers some of their money back. However, at least we now have an actual date upon which the dues payments will stop."

In 2005, the SEIU perpetrated a forced unionization of Michigan's home-based caregivers. Beginning the following year, dues started being taken from the Medicaid checks of the caregivers and sent to the union. The scheme has enriched SEIU coffers by more than $33 million. A running tally is ongoing with the Michigan Capitol Confidential “Skim Tracker.”

The MQC3 was the dummy employer the SEIU used to facilitate its forced unionization of home-based caregivers. In reality, the entity was an extension of the SEIU that did the union's bidding. However, in the final days leading up to the Nov. 6 election, Gov. Rick Snyder replaced the union-friendly board with his own appointees.

Last April, behind closed doors, the union and the former MQC3 board extended the union's contract through February 2013. Had it not been for that extension the "skim" might well have ended by now. By replacing its board, Gov. Snyder took control of the MQC3 away from the SEIU.

Once control of the MQC3 changed hands, the union's last hope was the approval of Proposal 4, which would have locked the forced unionization in the state constitution. Voters soundly rejected Proposal 4 by a margin of 56 percent against to 44 percent in favor.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.