GOP Gov. Yanks Union Rights to Collect Dues from Caregivers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.− New Illinois GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner yanked union rights to collect dues or fees from thousands of home health caregivers in the state, drawing protests from AFSCME, which represents the workers.

 

This impacts nurses, emergency responders, child welfare advocates and workers who enforce public oversight.

 

His announcement of anti-worker plans during his State of the State address and executive order affecting the caregivers drew outrage and protests from AFSCME and other unions in the state.

 

Rauner’s executive order implemented a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Harris Vs. Quinn. The justices tossed a state law letting unions collect “fair share” fees from home-care workers represented by-but did not choose to join- the union at their workplaces.

 

Rauner claimed his executive order upholds free speech of workers who do not want to support what he claimed is labor’s political agenda. The fair share fees thrown out by the justices go only for bargaining and contract administration.

 

“Rauner’s scheme to strip the rights of state workers and weaken their unions by executive order is a blatantly illegal abuse of power,” said Roberta Lynch, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, which represents the caregivers.

 

Lynch fired back at Rauner’s collective bargaining justification for the state’s huge budget gap saying, “It is crystal clear the governor’s supposed concern for balancing the state budget is a paper-thin excuse that cant hide his real agenda: Silencing working people and their unions who stand up for the middle class.”

 

In his address, Rauner also demanded that the legislature make Illinois a right-to-work state and that it pass a so-called “paycheck protection” law, which would ban public workers from voluntary political donations.  The chair, vice-chair and other Democrats on the state senate Labor Committee have already decided to oppose right-to-work.

 

Source: PAI