Supreme Court Rules Chicago Unions Can’t Collect Union Dues from Parents Taking Care of their Disabled Kids

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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It’s mindboggling that…

1. This was even a thing

2.  That it actually came to the Supreme Court

3. That in article after article liberals are still lying about it and defending it while calling the parents “freeloaders”

Most articles are still talking about “home health care workers” when we’re actually talking mostly about caregivers looking after their own family members with state support.

It would be as if a teacher’s union conducted mandatory unionization or homeschooling parents who receive Medicaid.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled Monday that public-sector unions in Illinois cannot collect fees from home health care workers who don’t want to be part of a union.

In the union case, plaintiff Pamela Harris serves as the primary caretaker for her son, Josh, who has a rare genetic syndrome. She receives Medicaid funds and essentially functions as a state employee.

During the administration of disgraced ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) saw an opportunity to expand by organizing two groups of people: home-based caregivers in the state’s Medicaid program and daycare providers.

Neither group had previously been considered state employees, and for good reason: Most of these caregivers watched over disabled relatives at home, and the daycare providers were small businesses that took in children from low-income families that received state child-care subsidies. Calling people in either group “state workers” just because they took advantage of a public social program would be as crazy as classifying food stamps recipients as state employees.

Nevertheless, the governor cooperated, and soon the union was collecting $20 million in dues each year from the two groups. The SEIU decided to pursue a similar strategy with a second group of Medicaid recipients a few years later. It prevailed upon then-Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, and he was all too eager to comply.

But this time was different. Among those affected was a suburban Chicago mom, Pamela Harris. Pam’s youngest child, Josh, was born with a rare genetic disorder and faced severe physical and cognitive struggles. Rather than put Josh in a state institution or an adult daycare facility, Pam stayed home full time to take care of him and received a Medicaid benefit administered by the Illinois state government of roughly $25,000 a year.

Harris did not want her home to be a union workplace, so she rallied other families like hers and beat back the SEIU’s advances. But government unions in Illinois are nothing if not determined, and Harris knew they would soon try to force her again to join the union. To end the scheme once and for all, she joined with other parents and caregivers who already paid forced dues to file a lawsuit.

The state of Illinois and the SEIU claimed that the union was entitled to represent — and receive financial support — from home-based caregivers. But this week the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the SEIU’s theory of union organizing. The court echoed a point that the Illinois Policy Institute made in our amicus brief, arguing that as a result of mandatory dues, participants in the state’s Medicaid program were inevitably forced to either support the union’s political speech or withdraw from the program. Paying dues to a union should not be a condition of receiving help from the state to care for a loved one.

But that’s not how liberals want it.

Meanwhile here’s how the Huffington Post depicted a decision to free a mother from having to pay union dues to care for her disabled son.

“5 Political Operatives Just Hammered Women And Workers”

Nothing hammers women and workers like freeing them from forced donations to the Democratic Party.

  • Ivan Ewan

    Chicago, the birthplace of Obama’s successes.