Money for Nothing

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news-gazetteAn Illinois child care provider tells the story about how she started her day care business and, years later, was forced to join SEIU under corrupt Democrat Governor Rod Blagojevich. Once the Supreme Court ruled she didn’t have to continue paying SEIU, she quit the union; and, because union membership did nothing for her, it hasn’t cost her anything.

In 1989, I worked as an accountant for the Marathon Pipeline company in Martinsville. I had two small children, and like many mothers, I was torn between my career and wanting to spend time with my family.

So I left my job and opened my own day care business, which allowed me to continue bringing home a paycheck while spending time with my kids…

In 2006, now-imprisoned Gov. Rod Blagojevich forced thousands of Illinois day care providers to either join or pay money to the Service Employees International Union, or SEIU for “representation.” The SEIU — a politically-charged, government union — made millions from day care providers who care for children from low-income families and receive state subsidies for child care. Because I cared for children in this state program, I was told that made me a state employee and I should pay money to a union. If I didn’t pay up, then I wouldn’t be allowed to care for children from families who rely on state assistance for child care.

I didn’t want to turn away children, so I had no choice but to pay the SEIU.

I didn’t understand how paying money to the SEIU benefited me. I was told that the union improved my working conditions and increased my pay. But I owned my own business, my working conditions were set by me, and my pay was what I decided to charge the families I helped…

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling in a case that originated in Illinois, called Harris v. Quinn. This ruling made the state’s attempts to force-unionize day care providers illegal…

After the court’s ruling, I wrote a letter to former Gov. Pat Quinn to stop the state from forcing me to pay the union…

Opting out of the union was the right decision for me. It didn’t impact my health insurance eligibility or decrease my pay.

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