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Michigan Home Health Dues Spigot is Turned Off on Service Employees International Union (SEIU)

The dues spigot from Michigan’s home health care workers that had been pouring money into SEIU’s coffers since 2006 has been officially shut off, according to the Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health. Director James Haverman confirmed to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that SEIU has ended its status as bargaining representative for Michigan’s home health care workers after their contract expired in February.

As we reported last July, the Michigan Legislature passed legislation to end the ability of SEIU to deduct money from Medicaid checks for the State’s 59,000 home health care workers, which was seen as a "dues skim" by many critics.  Under the arrangement, which went into effect in 2006 under the Granholm administration, SEIU was able to collect in excess of $34 million dollars.  The arrangement was highly controversial because it appeared to force unionization on home health workers, many of whom were simply caregivers for a friend or relative and not employed in any professional capacity.  It was criticized as a “favor” to SEIU.

Governor Snyder ended the practice last year by signing legislation outlawing the arrangement, but the law was challenged in court and a preliminary injunction was issued which allowed the dues deductions to continue until the current contract expired.  As we reported, SEIU attempted to reconstitute the prior practice by sponsoring Proposal 4 on the November ballot, but that proposal was soundly rejected by Michigan voters.

Now that the contract has expired, SEIU’s dues spigot has officially run dry. 



About this Author

Keith Brodie, Labor, Employment, Attorney, Barnes Thornburg, Law firm

Mr. Brodie is a partner in Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Grand Rapids, Michigan office. He devotes his practice exclusively to labor and employment law. He is a practitioner and counselor to his clients on labor matters including collective bargaining, union organizing, NLRB unfair labor practice charge defense, and labor strategies for mergers, acquisitions and reorganizations. Mr. Brodie also has experience counseling clients regarding the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employment discrimination investigations and claims, employee hiring,...