Here is a little sweetheart deal in Michigan that should make your blood boil. It illustrates the charming nature of government unions, in case you didn't already know about that.
Under ex-Governor Jennifer Granholm, the state government (without legislative authorization), in cahoots with the Service Employees International Union, created a faux "employer" entity for all the home-based caregivers in Michigan who take care of disabled people and receive state funds through Medicaid. They were then, whether they consented or not, designated as "employees" of this "employer," the "employer" actually being a sock puppet for the SEIU, brought into existence to give the SEIU someone to pretend to "bargain" with. Once this little charade was set up, the SEIU was able to skim off a percentage of the Medicaid funds from the abruptly unionized home caregivers as dues for its "services." Let's get clear in our minds that plenty of these "employees" of the state are actually parents and other family members taking care of disabled relatives in their own homes. The shell state "employer" provides no benefits and cannot give its employees a raise. In fact, since the Michigan legislature moved to defund it, it isn't even operated with Michigan funds. It is phony from start to finish. At one point the union even propped up its "bargaining partner" with some funds of its own! The entire arrangement exists for the evident and sole purpose of allowing the SEIU to grab some of the funds intended for caring for disabled people in their homes in Michigan.
The legislature has tried in every possible way to kill this arrangement, but it is like a zombie--it just keeps coming back. The union even got a federal judge to order its continuation (which is to say, the continued flow of skimmed Medicaid dollars into its pockets) on the grounds that the union had an "existing contract" with the "employer" and that the attempt to stop the arrangement (under a law declaring that these home caregivers are not state employees) would violate the constitutional provision against the impairment of contracts. The Mackinac Institute raises the startling possibility that the "employer" could negotiate a new contract at any time with the union and thus perpetuate the arrangement indefinitely with the help of federal courts.
One hopes this "night of the living dead sock puppet" scenario would not be legally possible, and the union itself seems a tad worried--perhaps by the defunding. So the union is now ratcheting things up a notch by getting Proposal 4 on the Michigan ballot on November 6 to enshrine their dirty little deal in the Michigan State Constitution.
If you are a Michigan voter and you are even a minimally sensible person, you know what to do about Proposal 4 on November 6. If you don't live in Michigan, well, now you know more about those caring people in the SEIU. And you can keep your eyes open for similar scams coming to a state near you. Maybe your legislature can do something preemptive before they get an "existing contract" going that will take money from Mom and Dad caring for a disabled son.
This is scummy.