SEIU 775, the most politically aggressive union in the state, doesn’t like the Freedom Foundation telling forcibly unionized caregivers about the 2014 U.S. Supreme Court case that made union payment optional for them.
Caregivers who receive payment are automatically “represented” by SEIU and have dues withheld from their pay. New caregivers are required to attend a “contracting appointment” at which they sign their contract with the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) and receive an orientation on the training and certification process.
Article 2.3 of the SEIU-negotiated contract requires that the first 15 minutes of these mandatory contracting appointments be set aside for “a union representative to meet with the individual provider(s) participating in the contracting appointments.” The purpose of such meetings is to allow union organizers an opportunity to pressure IPs to sign union membership cards.
While attendance at the union portion of the contracting appointments used to be mandatory, the state and union revised the CBA to make attendance voluntary after the Freedom Foundation brought suit against the state on behalf of IPs in Alvarez v. Inslee.
The Freedom Foundation asked the state for the public record of the schedule of caregivers’ mandatory contracting appointments, so that Freedom Foundation staff could attend and counter the pressure of the SEIU to trick caregivers into signing nearly irrevocable membership cards at these meetings.
The state delayed the release of the records and informed SEIU of the request. Freedom Foundation has previously been awarded penalties for DSHS foot-dragging, but they continue to put the interest of SEIU ahead of the duty to produce public records.
In this case, the delays made it possible for SEIU to sue to prevent the state from complying with the public records law.
After losing at the local level and at the court of appeals to the Freedom Foundation, they still appealed to the Washington State Supreme Court to attempt to block our ability to hand out information at these meetings. However, on October 4th, the court denied SEIU 775’s Petition for Discretionary Review.
This means we now have the complete schedule of hundreds caregiver contracting appointment. Freedom Foundation is currently showing up at the meetings and providing information to caregivers, much to the union’s annoyance.
The efforts of SEIU to block Freedom Foundation have repeatedly been swatted down by Freedom Foundation attorneys, but the SEIU can afford multiple frivolous lawsuits. SEIU does a fraction of the work of other unions, yet they charge double the usual dues. Each month or year of expensive delays allows their cash-grabbing scheme to continue, but we are making progress as the court ruling shows.
DSHS Violated Public Records Act To Aid Its Union Friends
February 1, 2017
DSHS Aiding SEIU Misinformation Of Home Care Workers
February 7, 2017
We Are Taking The Message Of Freedom To The Front Line
August 3, 2017