10,000 Cards Delivered to Gov. Dayton Demanding New PCA Election
Minnesota Personal Care Attendants (MNPCA), a coalition of home care workers and advocates, today delivered over 10,000 cards from PCAs across the state, demanding a union decertification election. The cards total three times more than the 3,543 PCAs who voted for unionization in 2014.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota established the union in a mail-in ballot, low voter turnout election with just 13 percent of the estimated 27,000 home-based PCAs in Minnesota.
“Our impression after contacting thousands of PCAs around the state is that they just did not know about the election,” said Kim Crockett, Vice President at Center of the American Experiment. “This effort has uncovered what appears to be wide-spread fraud that the State of Minnesota should investigate.”
MNPCA seeks to have the 2014 election of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota declared void and/or that the Bureau of Mediation Services grant a new election. The participants provided an update on the decertification election process, alleged election fraud and their ongoing case and the appeal against Gov. Dayton and his agencies.
“We have more than enough cards to get a new election and the evidence of fraud, now on file with BMS and Ramsey County, is overwhelming” said Doug Seaton, an attorney who represents MNPCA members. “The Legislature and Congress fund and authorize these benefits, so the union adds nothing but its own agenda and should be removed.”
“Most PCAs do not want the SEIU interfering with their families and skimming off part of the Medicaid benefit for their special needs family members,” said Kris Greene a PCA from Lakeville who has served as the lead plaintiff in the legal case.
Personal care attendants are reimbursed under a Medicaid program that supports the care of family members and others with special needs in their homes. Controversial legislation passed in 2013 cleared the way for the bargaining unit by declaring home-based providers “state employees for collective bargaining purposes.”
Union dues for low-wage PCAs are set at three percent of gross pay up to $948 a year. MNPCA contends taxpayer funds for the program were intended to provide care, rather than line the pockets of big labor.
“Based on federal filings, the SEIU is estimated to receive as much as $4.7 million in annual revenue from the PCA program,” Crockett said. “MNPCA has definitely put a big dent in that revenue stream by helping PCAs get their dues back.”
“The SEIU is hurting this wonderful program. And the new contract they are negotiating terrifies me,” said Catherine Hunter, a Burnsville PCA.