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Supreme Court rules against SEIU on in-home caregiving case - a WIN for common sense!

Supreme Court rules against SEIU on in-home caregiving case - a WIN for common sense!

Jun 29 2014

[June 30, 2014 1000 EDT] The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) today released its decision on a landmark case concerning whether or not people acting as caregivers (including family members of children with disabilities) can be forced to pay union dues, solely because they receive caregiving funds from the State. In the court's decision, it found for individual rights and against the union and State desire to force people to pay union fees. Since I am generally in favor of transparency and accountability, I applaud the SCOTUS decision as a win for common sense. 

photo of Mrs. Pam Harris and son Josh Harris

Only in bizzaro world is it sensible that a Mother is an "employee of the state" and therefore "receiving the benefits of union membership" just because she receives a meager stipend to help cover costs of taking care of a child with disabilities. Yet, that is what was being fought for by Services Employees International Union (SEIU), one of the major defendants in this case. Unions have their role, and people can choose to join them when they decide that that role is of benefit to them. But forcing people to pay union fees even when they choose not to join is not reasonable. The union stance is that the people that do not join the union still receive the benefits of the membership. This has been upheld in some court cases. The reasoning being that the union is negotiating on behalf of all people in that group, and so they should all be forced to pay "fair share" fees. 

The problem with this logic, as I see it is that the individual is not given their right to choose. Some people may not be in favor of the terms the union is arranging. They may be "anti-union". Or, as appears to be the case in Harris Vs Quinn, perhaps it is a mother that wants every dime of the funds provided for care of her child to be spent on that care, and not going to some third-party that she has no relation with. Regardless of an individual's reasoning, I believe that forcing membership (or payment of "fair share" fees) should be against the law. But certainly in this specific case, there's no rational reason to force a mother to pay a union's fees because she receives funds to help care for her child.

I do agree that there can be some exceptions, where the case is very clear in favor of all the individuals within a group. But the unions don't apparently think of it as an exception, but rather the norm. Here we have people that are providing care and receiving funds specifically for that care. They aren't employees of the State. But the union wants to treat them that way. In this case, SCOTUS got it right. It will be interesting to see how things progress from here.

Total: 1 Comment(s)
  great one!
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