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Home childcare provider case for refund of union dues to be reopened

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation (NRTWLDF) announced yesterday they are able to resume their lawsuit demanding a refund of union dues they say were improperly collected from home healthcare workers in Michigan. The organization received notice yesterday the Supreme Court has granted, vacated, and remanded” their suit, filed in federal court, back to the lower court.

People arrive to attend the final session of the term at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.
People arrive to attend the final session of the term at the U.S. Supreme Court on June 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The suit claims 50,000 childcare providers should receive a refund of union dues collected following an order by then governor Jennifer Granholm and ceased by now governor Rick Snyder as settlement of a lawsuit. Snyder’s decision still stands.

An attempt to unionize the home care of special needs children was rejected by a vote of 85% to 15% according to the lawsuit. Lawsuit claims of following this rejection Granholm and a UAW and AFSCME coalition, the Child Care Providers Together Michigan (CCPTM) union, colluded to force the state’s providers into union ranks against their will.

More than $4 million dues are then collected by SEIU, the union selected to represent the workers.

Childcare providers are typically parents of the children who are paid for certain aspects of the childcare. Paying the parents allows them to make up for lost wages as the parents stay home with their children instead of sending their children to professional care centers. This benefits families, providing the same services as the professional child care workers, and offers a substantial savings to the state.

Unlike other government workers, these “employees” receive no benefits nor indemnification from the state.

According to NRTWLDF, settlement with Governor Rick Snyder ensured Michigan no longer force home childcare providers into union ranks. The court system blocked class-action status so union officials were not required to refund the dues already collected in the alleged illegal unionization of the workers.

Following the Supreme Court’s Harris v. Quinn decision on Monday in which the Court held that homecare providers cannot be forced to pay union dues as state employees the vacated Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision regarding class-action is now been reopened according to NRTWLDF.

Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “All of those childcare providers deserve to get their money back, and the U.S. Supreme Court appears to agree.”

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