April 26, 2018

Decertification Election Bill for PCAs (S.F. No. 3983) Advances!

Congratulations! MNPCA’s decertification election advanced on Thursday, April 19, 2018, when the Minnesota Senate Committee on State Government Finance and Policy and Elections approved the bill. Other Committees and both the House and Senate majorities must pass the bill and Governor Dayton must sign it before we are on our way, but this is a very positive step. Here are some highlights of the bill and why it’s important:

  • It allows PCAs to vote in the legally-authorized “decertification election” to decide whether or not to retain SEIU Healthcare Minnesota as their “exclusive representative” with the State and says the new SEIU contract doesn’t stop the election.
  • It affects approximately 20,000 PCAs, most of whom provide personal care for their own disabled family members(s), in order to avoid costly institutionalization and keep families together.
  • Almost 11,000 PCAs have signed requests for this decertification, the most in all of U.S. union history.
  • Currently, SEIU Healthcare “represents” all of the PCAs (even though only a few thousand are actually members), because about 3,500 of them voted for SEIU in 2014, fewer than 15% of the total.
  • Whether SEIU wins or loses the election, no PCA’s pay or benefits change; the Legislature would continue (as now) to appropriate money for the program, with input from all PCAs, not just SEIU.
  • SF3983 does not affect SEIU’s “representation” role until and unless SEIU loses the PCA vote in the election.
  • If SEIU lost, they could no longer deduct “dues” from PCAs’ Medicaid payments for their disabled family member(s), but any PCA who chose to continue to make dues payments could do so.
  • The pending U.S. Supreme Court case Janus does not affect PCAs, because separate case law controls.
  • The SEIU will say that dues are “voluntary” but the SEIU “represents” all PCAs, whether members or not, the SEIU controls the contract and now dominates the PCA program itself, and SEIU takes “dues” from many PCAs who are not members under false pretenses.
  • SEIU will also say that MNPCA is “too late” with the 11,000 cards but this was only because DHS, MMB and BMS refused to provide names and addresses of PCAs until ordered to do so by Ramsey County Court.
  • The SEIU representatives obtain “authorization” signatures from PCAs to deduct dues by telling PCAs they are only “correcting records,” “petitioning for better benefits,” “doing their jobs,” etc., and do not disclose that this is a membership application and dues deduction form, or explain the financial impact (up to $948 per year) or the fine print limiting a PCA’s ability to terminate the authorization. Signatures have also been forged.
  • The total “dues” deducted and other payments SEIU receives for “training,” etc. amount to millions of Medicaid dollars per year, which pay for dozens of $70,000 per year SEIU salaries and lots of political contributions, all from taxpayers, but PCAs receive no genuine services and SEIU doesn’t fund any PCA wages or benefits.
  • Child care providers subsidized by Medicaid under the same law as PCAs voted down the AFSCME Union by almost a 3:1 margin when they had a full and fair election in 2016