Parents who breathed a sigh of relief last month, thinking they were rid of union thugs knocking on their doors and calling them at home shouldn't relax yet.
SEIU is back. And with a vengeance.
This week, Illinois' Service Employees International Union (SEIU) filed a complaint with the American Arbitration Association saying during last month's balloting to determine whether home health care workers should unionize, the State of Illinois did not maintain neutrality.
The October 19th election, set into motion by Governor Pat Quinn's Executive Order 09-15, allowed families that care for their severely disabled family members to determine whether they could collectively bargain via public sector unions. They were also asked which union -- the SEIU or AFSCME -- they would prefer.
Sixty-six percent of the 3300 home health care workers queried voted to reject all union representation.
The SEIU didn't like the results of that election, so, they're appealing to the group that administered the election, pointing to the State of Illinois as not maintaining neutrality in the process.
"The SEIU is demanding a 6 months cooling off period followed by reeducation and a new election," Pam Harris told Illinois Review Thursday. "The loud and clear message sent by 66 percent of the voters in the election should have been enough to settle the issue once and for all."
The parents now wait for AAA's decision as to whether the board will grant the SEIU and AFSCME another chance to force unionization on the families.
On a related matter, one of the parents involved in the union election, Gordon Stiefel, returned to Cook County Circuit Court Judge Epstein’s courtroom this past Tuesday. Stiefel, a pro se plaintiff, asked the court to declare the rights, duties or obligations of each party in the home health care workers' dispute. The question Stiefel raises is who the home health workers work for -- the state of Illinois or the disabled family members?
“We now await the court’s decision on the complex and yet simple matter of who is the employer of personal support workers in Illinois and does the public interest of State allow the State to inject itself between the employer and employee relationship," Stiefel said.
"Stiefel is still looking for pro bono legal counsel. Every attorney he has spoken with either has limited labor law experience or a conflict with previous and current client," Harris told Illinois Revie. "Please, if you can recommend an attorney, contact Gordon Stiefel at firstname.lastname@example.org."
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