Mackinac Center for Public Policy
After inappropriately setting up and administering a union certification election for home-based caregivers in 2005 — despite them not being public employees — the state agency responsible for that action, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, today claimed itself unable to rectify its own error, thereby allowing the Service Employees International Union to keep some $34 million it improperly received in dues. MERC dismissed an administrative action brought by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation on behalf of Patricia Haynes and Steven Glossop that sought to have the 2005 union certification declared illegal and have a portion of the dues returned.
“All of this could have been avoided if MERC had acted competently in 2005 by addressing whether the caregivers were public employees,” noted Patrick J. Wright, director of the MCLF. “In today’s order, MERC does not contend that these home-based caregivers were public employees in 2005 because it cannot do so. Instead, MERC attempts to mask its previous failure by setting forth a disappointing order that incorrectly cites statute of limitations and other procedural hurdles and fails to address the central issue of whether our clients were ever public employees.”
The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation last September asked MERC for a declaratory ruling to reverse its 2005 decision that allowed the forced unionization of some 40,000 home-based caregivers. Most of those who were caught up in the SEIU’s scheme were family members and friends caring for the state’s most vulnerable residents.