By: Kim Crockett, Senior Policy Fellow at the Center of the American Experiment
Today is the day that MNPCA is required under Minnesota law to demonstrate that 30 percent of the SEIU bargaining unit wants a new election. It will deliver thousands of cards from personal care attendants (PCAs) all over the state asking Governor Dayton to listen to them.
MNPCA is confident that more than 30 percent of PCAs would not only ask for a new election but vote overwhelmingly against being represented by a labor union. Remember that only 13 percent of PCAs voted in favor of the union in 2014.
That is why the Dayton administration, which fought so hard to get this union, has fought so hard to keep it. We estimate that SEIU is now taking $4.7million in new annual dues.
The administration gave MNPCA bad lists of PCAs. When a judge told the administration to give MNPA a good list of PCAs, attorneys for the governor claimed that they did not have an accurate list of PCAs, who are now “state employees.”
When the judge ordered the administration to get the data and turn it over, Dayton fought that order. Finally, last Friday, a week before MNPCA was supposed to get thousands of signed election cards from PCAs all over Minnesota, Dayton gave MNPCA yet another list that may be inaccurate. It would take months to figure it out.
While MNPCA has done everything within its power and resources to meet the demands of the law, the Dayton administration has been bargaining with the SEIU to reach agreement on a new contract. The first and current contract does not expire until June 30 of 2017. So why would they want a new contract now? Because under the law, a new contract will force MNPCA to start all over again but they have to wait for two years. A new contract wipes out all the election cards sent in these past few months and forces PCAs to be represented by SEIU.
But we are hopeful that the judge in this case understands what the Dayton administration is trying to do: block PCAs attempt to get a fair election and exercise their rights under the law.
So today MNPCA is going to turn in thousands of cards from PCAs who want a new election. And ask the judge to consider to totality of the facts, including affidavits from PCAs and MNPCA that point to troubling evidence that the original election was a fraud. If the state does not order a new election, MNPCA will ask the judge to give MNPCA more time once it has a good list.
MNPCA will also ask the judge to stop the Dayton administration from using a new contract to wipe out all the hard, good faith work by MNPCA.
MNPCA has played by the rules with very limited resources; the Dayton administration, with all its power and resources, is determined to defeat all the PCAs who do not want their homes turned into union workplaces, who want to protect the PCA Choice program for the families it was intended to help.
MNPCA is not giving up the fight. It will ask the new Legislature to prohibit the use of welfare funds like Medicaid to declare recipients like PCAs “state employees” just so politicians like Mark Dayton and Tina Smith can control millions in campaign and lobbying funds. It is just so wrong.
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