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Union Skims Off 3% of Medicaid Benefits as Political Slush Fund

There are approximately 27,000 personal care attendants (PCAs) in Minnesota. In almost all cases, PCAs are family members who are taking care of a disabled relative, usually a child or parent, in their homes. Happily, they are able to receive modest Medicaid payments to compensate them for this more than full-time work.

Then, along came the union, looking for money: the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) got the PCAs declared “public employees” for the sole purpose of being subject to unionization. SEIU then carried out a unionization campaign in which, without the knowledge or participation of the large majority of PCAs, the votes of only 3,500 PCAs bound 27,000 to the union. This allows SEIU to skim off 3% of the PCAs’ Medicaid payments as union dues, up to $948 a year.

Matt Patterson tells the sad story at Forbes: “SEIU Raids Minnesota Medicaid.”

Recently, the union’s stooges in the capital declared some 27,000 of the state’s personal-care assistants (PCAs) “public employees” – but only for purposes of collective bargaining, i.e., so they can be unionized.

As a result, the SEIU is siphoning 3% of its members’ very modest Medicaid supplement.

You see, PCAs are people who have chosen to be the primary caregiver of a disabled person; in the vast majority of cases, a family member (usually a spouse or child). Some of the disabilities are so severe that the caregiver is unable to work outside the home. And so Minnesota established a PCA program which allows them to receive some Medicaid support. …

But the SEIU wants its cut.

What has the union done to deserve this money? Not a thing.


This is shocking greed on the part of SEIU, but also on the part of the union’s minions in the Minnesota legislature. Because, what does SEIU do with the 3% it skims off the top? Much of it goes to Democratic legislators in the form of political contributions, and for lobbying for SEIU political priorities. So the whole arrangement is hopelessly corrupt.

Now some of the PCAs are fighting back. Led by Kris Greene, a group of PCAs have organized a campaign to kick SEIU out–in legal language, to decertify the union.

They are determined that, this time, the PCAs have all the facts and are fully informed. They have launched a website,, that allows PCAs to generate an authorization card, which they can then print and mail in.

And they have established a new online community,, designed to be a shared resource for those who care for loved ones at home, and to prove they can help one another without a union.

How big a deal is this effort? Very big:

If Mrs. Greene and her allies are successful, they will have pulled off the largest decertification in United States labor history. For the SEIU, millions of dollars in dues are at stake. And as for the politicians who herded the PCAs into this corrupt bargain, they need a rich and fat union to keep filling their campaign coffers.

One shakes in disgust. …

Blackmail, vandalism, intimidation– these have long been the tools of organized labor. But pilfering from disabled children?

That’s a new low.

I am proud to say that Center of the American Experiment is working with Kris Greene and the other PCAs to help them assert their First Amendment freedoms of speech and association and to throw off the union’s yoke. Let’s hope their campaign is successful, and SEIU is forced to stop profiting at the expense of the disabled and the families who care for them.




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