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Unionization of Business Owners?

This week bills have been introduced in the State Senate that would make clear that day care and home health care providers cannot be forced to join a union.

The bills stem from an issue that has been getting a great deal of state and national media coverage in recent weeks.

In December of 2008, approximately 40,000 in-home day care owners were notified by mail that they were now members of a newly formed union. 

Shortly thereafter, the Department of Human Services (DHS) began withholding union dues from the subsidy checks that these day care providers receive from the state.  The state provides the subsidy checks to assist low-income parents with the costs of child care.  It is estimated that the amount of money being withheld is $3.7 million.

A class action suit was filed on behalf of the day care providers against the DHS in 2009.  In December of 2009 the Michigan Court of Appeals dismissed the case.  The dismissal is being appealed.

SBAM has been closely following this issue since the court dismissal late last year.  The bills introduced in the Senate would make it so that day care and home health care providers (home health care providers have been unionized in other states) could not be forced to join a union.  The bills would also dissolve the union that was formed to represent these business owners.

One of the bill sponsors State Senator Nancy Cassis correctly points out that, “Child day care providers and home health care workers are private employers, not public employees.  Labeling them as state employees because they receive state aid is outrageous.”

For more details and background on this story click here

We will keep you posted on the progress of these bills.
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