Labor Pains: Because Being in a Union can be Painful

How Much Care Can Unions Foster?

Losing membership in the private sector, union bosses are increasingly seeking to organize care providers who are reimbursed by state funds — that way, labor leaders can pressure their political allies into recognizing the union and forking over more taxpayer money. The union drives have happened with childcare and health care providers everywhere from New York to Illinois to the West Coast, where even Washington State foster parents have sought a union.

In Oregon, SEIU has already picked up childcare and home care providers. Now they’re after a new target: adult foster care providers. But hold on a minute. The proposal to unionize the foster care providers isn’t sitting well with all potential members, some of whom don’t like the price tag of joining SEIU. The Statesman Journal reports:

But the proposal sparked strong opposition from several adult foster home providers, many of whom complained about having to pay union dues of $150 or more each month.

And then there’s the emerging story of misleading union cards. Unions like SEIU are pushing for legislation that would allow everyone to join a union if 50% of a work group sign union cards. But the media is increasingly finding stories that suggest union officials mislead workers about the legally binding nature of those cards. The Statesman Journal found one such foster care provider:

Petronella Donovan, one of many Romanians who have entered into the adult foster care field in Oregon, said many of her peers misunderstand the union cards SEIU asked them to sign.

With high dues and misleading union rhetoric, it’s no wonder many potential members would rather not join SEIU. But a more important question for taxpayers and citizens: What effect will unions have on the quality of childcare, health care, or foster care? Maybe union bosses have turned over a new leaf, or maybe they’ll bring the same focus on quality that has left the domestic auto industry stalled.

Categories: Teachers Unions