Steep Decline

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capconIn a report filed almost two months late, the effect of Michigan no longer allowing SEIU to skim dues from home-based caregivers is clear. Now that caregivers (many of whom are relatives or friends of the people they care for) have a choice, union revenue has dropped by more than 50% and union membership has dropped by over 80%.

The union that exploited Michigan’s home-based caregivers for the best part of a decade has seen its revenue tumble since the scheme that enabled the exploitation ended. SEIU Healthcare Michigan reported $5,398,383 in dues and fees in 2014. That’s just 48 percent of the $11,307,314 it reported for 2012, the last full year during which the union’s dues skim was in place.

The information was contained in a financial disclosure report the union submitted to the federal government 57 days after the March 31 deadline it is apparently required to meet. The disclosure finally took place shortly after Michigan Capitol Confidential brought the absence of the report to the attention of the federal Office of Labor-Management Standards.

The roots of the dues skim reach back to the mid-2000s when SEIU moved to grab a share of the benefit checks of Michigan residents enrolled in the Medicaid Home Help program, which lets elderly and disabled individuals receive care in their homes. The operation involved creating a pretext to unionize the caregivers, and on that basis have union dues and fees “skimmed” from the Medicaid checks of the program’s homebound beneficiaries. The unseemliness was aggravated by the fact that most of the caregivers were friends and relatives of those receiving care.

In 2005, during the administration of [Democrat] Gov. Jennifer Granholm, SEIU was allowed to carry out the forced unionization scheme by creating a dummy employer and executing a stealth mail-in union certification election. The operation went on from 2006 until its state contract ended on Feb. 28, 2013. Overall, the scheme poured more than $34 million into the union’s coffers…

The headline number in the 2014 report is the impact of terminating the dues skim on the union’s revenue and membership. Here are the relevant figures going back as far back as records are available:

  • 2008: Dues and Fees — $10,497,917; Membership 53,533
  • 2009: Dues and Fees — $10,871,481; Membership 57,239
  • 2010: Dues and Fees — $11,508,410, Membership 56,972
  • 2011: Dues and Fees — $11,974,000; Membership 55,359
  • 2012: Dues and Fees — $11,307,314; Membership 55,265
  • 2013: Dues and Fees — $7,119,322; Membership 10,918
  • 2014 Dues and Fees — $5,398,383; Membership 10,728