Illinois Day Care Workers Given Permission to Dump Union


Won't somebody think of the unions? I mean children! Won't somebody think of the children?
Credit: jccchou / photo on flickr

At the end of June, The Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. Quinn that the state of Illinois could not force private home healthcare workers to join a union the state foisted upon them using the basis of these private workers receiving government subsidies as a justification. Though the ruling was fairly narrow and specific, it turns out the home care workers weren't the only folks in Illinois being treated this way. The state had done the same to day care providers for children from low-income families.

The state provides subsidies to these workers, too, and as the Illinois Policy Institute explains, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich issued an executive order in 2005 organizing them under the umbrella of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and deducting dues, whether they wanted the representation or not.

In the wake of the Harris v. Quinn decision, the Illinois Policy Institute and the Liberty Justice Center coordinated with a day care provider to get Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn to apply the Supreme Court ruling to her and other day-care workers. They've succeeded. The received a letter from the Illinois Department of Human Services saying they will stop deducting union fees from day care workers unless they have actually signed a membership card to belong to SEIU. This could affect up to 50,000 workers and cost SEIU (and save the workers) up to $10 million a year, according to the Liberty Justice Center, but that assumes no workers actually want to belong to the union.  

Read more about the case here.