Personal Care Attendant (“PCA”) Kris Greene and other PCAs supporting decertification of the SEIU-Healthcare Union were granted a hearing before Judge Robert Awsumb in Ramsey County District Court on Thursday, October 27, 2016. They were represented by Attorney Douglas P. Seaton.
The Judge heard the Minnesota PCA’s Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order to force the Department of Human Services (“DHS”), the Bureau of Mediation Services (“BMS”) and Minnesota Management & Budget (“MMB”) to
(1) provide a current list of PCAs in the state bargaining unit;
(2) provide more time for Election Card Authorization collection; and
(3) suspend premature SEIU/State negotiations for a new contract.
These steps are essential so that PCAs can gain control over their lives again by pursuing the legal election process to decertify (remove) SEIU-Healthcare as the exclusive representative of more than 15,000 home-based PCAs in the “bargaining unit.”
“The SEIU-Healthcare Union was imposed by 3,543 of the then 27,000 PCAs in a low turnout election in 2014,” said Doug Seaton. “Most PCAs do not want the SEIU interfering with their families and skimming off part of the Medicaid benefit for their special needs family members,” added Kris Greene.
The PCAs involved in the decertification effort are determined to reach all Minnesota PCAs in the bargaining unit so that a real election can be held. Kim Crockett of the Center of the American Experiment and a support of the MNPCA, argued that, “They need a good list; the lists provided by DHS are out of date and inaccurate. If PCAs have a good list, MNPCA believes that SEIU-Healthcare will be voted out by a wide margin.” The state agencies have refused to provide a current list and the time “window” for filing election cards from 30% of the bargaining unit is scheduled to close on December 2, 2016.
“The Legislature and Congress fund and authorize these benefits, so the Union adds nothing in this context,” said Seaton, “and should be removed.” “Doing so,” added Catherine Hunter, “will protect the PCA program for families caring for a disabled family member and end the SEIU’s interference in pursuit of its own agenda.”
As soon as the court order clears the way for a lawful process, the required “showing” can be obtained from PCAs and the decertification election scheduled. PCAs can then have a real election to decide whether they want the SEIU. If successful, the decertification election would likely be set for late 2016 or early 2017.