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Unions ending forced-dues collection of home healthcare workers

The Supreme Court ruling that freed home healthcare workers from coercive unionization in Illinois has led to unions ceasing automatic deduction of union dues from non-members in other states.

A Washington state chapter of the politically powerful SEIU announced that it would no longer force caretakers—many of whom are caring for disabled family members—to pay union dues, according to communications obtained by the Freedom Foundation, a free market think tank.

Adam Glickman, secretary treasurer of SEIU Local 775, wrote a letter to an unnamed home healthcare worker saying the court’s decision in Harris v. Quinn called into question Washington’s policy toward automatic union deductions.

“In light of the uncertainty created by the United States Supreme Court’s June 30, 2014, decisions in Harris v. Quinn, the union has asked the State to cease deduction of your fair-share fees. No such fees will be deducted from your future paychecks,” the July 8 letter says, adding that the union is also looking into the possibility of refunding past dues payments.

The court ruled 5-4 that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn violated the Constitution when he forced home healthcare workers, also known as personal assistants, who received Medicaid funding to pay a portion of their monthly checks to public sector unions. Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the majority, said that Illinois overstepped its bounds when it declared the caretakers public sector employees for the purpose of union membership, while denying them access to other public sector rights, such as liability protection and pensions.

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