Attorney General’s Office Argues DFL Legislature Purposely Made It Harder for PCAs to Decertify the SEIU

Photo from GTI-News

You may recall that a coalition of private-sector, home-based personal care attendants (PCAs) called “MNPCA” delivered over 10,000 cards to Gov. Dayton and the State of Minnesota on September 28th. PCAs are demanding a new, and this time fair, union election. Those 10,000 PCAs want out of a union imposed on them in a 2014 union “election” orchestrated by Gov. Dayton and the 2013 DFL majority Legislature.

Today, the Attorney General’s office argued that PCAs have, effectively, no right to any current contact lists so they can exercise their rights under state labor law. See if you can follow the logic.

The AG’s office admitted today that PCAs were only declared “state employees” so they would have the right to organize. Once they were “organized” by the SEIU, and the new dues-revenue had begun to flow, the State had no further interest in them. The AG told the court that these unionized PCAs “are not really state employees” with rights that other state employees possess. Did you follow that?

They are state employees when it favors the union, and they are not state employees when it favors the union.

The AG’s office also argued that the 2013 Legislature wanted to be sure that, once the PCAs had been unionized, it would be very difficult for PCAs to ever get a list of the PCAs in the union to exercise their right to decertify the union.

The reason?

The AG’s office told the court that the 2013 Legislature wanted PCAs private contact information to be protected. Yet it is OK to give the SEIU an updated contact list every month, which now includes an email address, cell and home phone numbers, but PCAs who want to talk to one another about whether or not to keep the union are denied access to contact lists. Did you follow?

There is much, much more (sigh) but all you have to know is this: it is the position of our state government that the government union always wins. Once you are in a union, especially “special” unions like the PCA union, there is no way out.

This is why government unions like the SEIU raise the public policy issue: should government unions even exist? Or if we allow them, why are they not subject to heightened scrutiny and disclosure? As of now, you have the SEIU spending big bucks to elect people like Mark Dayton, and Lori Swanson (our AG) who then deliver the goods once in office. Oh, and the SEIU, Education Minnesota and AFSCME et. al. spend mightily against anyone who challenges their hegemony.

At the very least, any “union” designed to skim dues off a Medicaid program, should not be allowed. Given that it exists, labor and other laws must be amended to protect the rights of PCAs and the Choice PCA program from being poached.

The Ramsey County Court is expected to rule on whether MNPCA had a right to a current contact list under the Data Practices Act, or perhaps under state labor law, sometime before the end of the year. Any remedies are on hold until the Minnesota Court of Appeals rules on whether the state should have granted MNPCA a new election.