Written by Tom Steward | May 7, 2017

Lawmakers to Focus on Fraud Allegations in Home Care Union Election

The Minnesota Legislature’s Joint Subcommittee on Employee Relations will hold a hearing tomorrow to investigate allegations of fraud related to the 2014 statewide union election to organize personal care attendants. The Daily Signal has the latest example of the sort of irregularities Subcommittee Chairs Rep. Marion O’Neill (R-Buffalo) and Sen. Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) will be looking into. Fraud Stamp

An in-home caregiver named Edison is supposed to live in a unit on the seventh floor of the Cedars of Edina apartment complex, according to a list supplied by the state government.

But when The Daily Signal tags along on a visit to the Gallagher Drive location by activists seeking to decertify the union that represents such caregivers, no one by Edison’s full name can be found in the directory of residents.

“As you can see, we scrolled through the electronic directory where the names are listed alphabetically,” canvasser Matt Patterson tells this reporter. “There is no one listed here named Edison.”

Which is odd, Patterson adds, because Edison’s name is a new one that Minnesota had just provided on a list of Medicaid-eligible home caregivers represented by the union, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.

It’s far from the only inconsistency that’s been uncovered by a coalition of personal care assistants, the Center for Worker Freedom and Center of the American Experiment seeking to decertify the SEIU bargaining unit in a second election.

Volunteers canvassing neighborhoods in and around the Twin Cities also have found what they describe as nonexistent addresses, abandoned homes, and vacant lots, among other irregularities that raise questions about a 2014 election to unionize nearly 30,000 home caregivers.

That vote, conducted by mail-in ballot, was administered by the state’s Bureau of Mediation Services and resulted in victory for SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union.

Copies of affidavits signed by the volunteers and obtained by The Daily Signal detail discrepancies between names and addresses listed in public records and actual locations they visited. The Minnesota residents who gave the affidavits are part of the campaign to decertify SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.

These allegations only scratch the surface of what in-home caregivers, canvassers and others are expected to testify on at the May 8 joint legislative hearing from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Room 5 of the State Office Building.

Tom Steward

Tom Steward is a Government Accountability Reporter at Center of the American Experiment.
[email protected]

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