Did you know that you are a “state employee” being represented by the SEIU? It has come as quite a shock to find out how many of our fellow PCAs don’t even know this happened. In 2013 Governor Dayton and the Legislature struck a bargain with the SEIU that classified 27,000 home-based PCAs as state employees “for the purposes of collective bargaining only and entitled to no other state benefits.” Fast forward to 2014 when only 3,600 out of 27,000 PCAs voted YES to being represented by the SEIU. That’s only 13 percent! Due to low voter turnout, the measure passed.
For PCAs who signed a union card, you probably noticed a change in pay. The SEIU contract allows the union to collect 3% of your gross pay, up to $79 a month or $948 a year. (Some of you signed it by accident. Did that happen to you? Check your paystub.) But maybe you say, now I have some paid time off (PTO). Is it worth 3% of your pay up to $79 a month? Did you know the legislature can give you PTO without joining a union?
For PCAs who have not signed a union card, that’s good. You are not paying dues and you DO NOT have to. So what’s the problem? The SEIU is speaking for you and the PCA home-based program at the Capitol and DHS. You are forced into the bargaining unit, whether you like it or not.
Do you think the SEIU knows more about being a PCA and how to do your job than you? SEIU is working on certification, training and other requirements.
And SEIU is collecting millions that it spends on high salaries for union officials, lobbying, politics and elections.
In an effort to correct this gross injustice, a group of Minnesota PCAs brought a lawsuit that made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court but after the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, the case was never heard. With all legal avenues exhausted, the only option is to decertify the SEIU.
If you are a PCA (“direct provider”) in the PCA Choice, CDCS or CSG programs, you are eligible to vote! There are two steps under MN law: first, we need almost 10,000 Election Cards to call for a new election. If we succeed, then PCAs get to vote on whether to keep the SEIU. If we are not successful, it is unlikely we will ever have this opportunity again, so please sign and return your Election Card TODAY. For those PCAs who opted out of the dues, make no mistake, you are still a member of this bargaining unit and an eligible voter in any election pertaining to the union. The union will try to take your money, too although, it will be called “service fees” rather than membership dues.