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As the father of an autistic son who my wife and I love more than our lives, and who we will be caring for during the rest of our lives, I have one word to describe the activities of the Service Employees International Union as detailed in the following story from the Washington Examiner:  Despicable.


If you’re a parent who accepts Medicaid payments from the State of Michigan to help support your mentally-disabled adult children,  you qualify as a state employee for the purposes of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They can now claim and receive a portion of your Medicaid in the form of union dues.


Robert and Patricia Haynes live in Michigan with their two adult children, who have cerebral palsy. The state government provides the family with insurance through Medicaid, but also treats them as caregivers. For the SEIU, this makes them public employees and thus members of the union, which receives $30 out of the family’s monthly Medicaid subsidy. The Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) deducts union dues on behalf of SEIU.

Go here to read the maddening rest.  This story epitomizes the unholy alliance between public employee unions and the politicians they own with their political contributions.  This is shameless, bald-faced theft from the most vulnerable among us. 



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  1. Michigan is among the worst of the progressivist, nannyish, union-dominated states. You may recall that some union, it may have been the SEIU, actuallly had a law passed allowing them to take money from home-based child-care providers here. (Nation-wide conservative outrage and the influx of Republicans in the ’10 elections has rendered the law nugatory, but it seems to be on the books still.) Unions are so entrenched here that new Republican majories in both houses and a Rep. Gov. haven’t made a bit of difference. (This, by the way, is what will happen nationally with a Romney victory–it will be meaningless.) Realize also that state employee unions use involunntarily collected funds from state-paid employees to lobby for increased state-employee pay so that they may collect more lobbying funds to lobby etc.

  2. I despise unions, also, Donald. My story is entirely different than yours, however. When I got out of the US Submarine Service, I went to work at a commercial pressurized water reactor as a union I&C technician. One incident in particular convinced me to get out of the union. Like all light water reactors, we had an acoustical monitoring system used to detect loose parts in the reactor coolant system during operation at power. Even very small loose parts (tiny nylon springs, almost mircoscopic washers, etc.) can be dangerous because if they get past the debris strainers at the bottom of the fuel assembly rods, they can impact the soft zircalloy metal that keeps the fuel pins intact. After repeated vibrations, the zircalloy can undergo what’s called debris fretting, and the fuel pins could be exposed to the reactor coolant. Of course that would result in the release of fission products directly into the reactor coolant system, and that is not a good thing. The US NRC takes a very dim view of failed fuel elements, because that means that the first barrier to fission product release [ (1) fuel rod, (2) reactor coolant piping, and (3) reactor containment ] has been degraded. Usually when that happens, adjacent control rods have to be inserted to suppress neutron flux in the area so that the fissions in the affected fuel rod will be stopped, but that messes up thermal neutron flux profile across the core, and a whole set of other effects happen. Sometimes a complete shutdown is required and the defective fuel assembly has to be removed. That costs a million dollars a day to do, and it is by no means a quick process.

    So what does that all have to do with unions? When, as an I&C technician, I was responsible for calibrating the system that would detect debris in the reactor coolant system and allow us to take corrective action before that debris might cause a fuel element failure. There is a Regulatory Guide on all this – RG-1.133:

    Unfortunately we had an old analog system that we used for this purpose, and we had no calibration procedure to make certain the system (we called in the metal impact monitoring system or MIMS) was working right. So I figured out how the system worked (having been a Navy nuke, I was used to taking things apart and putting them back together again, and then writing a procedure to reflect what I had done). I then wrote the procedure that the aforementioned Regulatory Guide required and turned it into management.

    The union shop steward confronted me with what I had done, yelling at me that I was costing them union jobs and overtime. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Overtime was more important to this guy than having a correctly written procedure to calibrate a system that we would use to detect impending fuel element failures and prevent an unnecessary plant shutdown. This would save the company millions (and keep the publc safe – duh!). At that point I made up my mind to get the heck out of the union. I was successful within a year or so of that decision and never again have I had to work in any union, thanks be to God.

    I could tell you many other stories – union techs waiting till 3 pm quitting time to tell us there was a problem, and they did it deliberately to get the overtime. After all, at a nuke plant problems have to be addressed post-haste. Another example – engineers at a sister nuke plant voted in the union. When I went to teach them, if the class or the test lasted even one minute past their normal quitting time, they would just walk out. No responsibility. No accountability.

    I utterly despise unionism, liberalism, progressivism and democracy – two wolves and one sheep voting on what’s for dinner. I now work in a company where there are no union techs, and if we have to work an hour or two past quitting time to get the darn job done, then we do. Sure, we complain, but we choose to serve our customer and have a good reputation. Then our boss gives us compensatory time off. We don’t need unions. Being nuclear professionals, we are paid very well (you, John Q. Public, do the paying in your electric bill), and as a result we are expected to behave as adults. I realize nowadays that’s a unique concept.

  3. A push was made a couple of years ago, I believe, by SEIU to unionize home care assistants in Illinois but it failed, mainly because of opposition from those who were serving as Medicaid supported caregivers for their own family members.

    It is stuff like this that makes me wonder what to do with my own child, who is autistic. I feel like it would be wrong to rely upon the state or federal government to care for her, particularly when it involves cooperation with corrupt entities such as this, but since my husband and I are not going to live forever and she has no siblings or other relatives close to her age, what are we to do?

  4. We parents of autistic kids Elaine, and other disabled kids, will have to set up our own support systems to help all of our kids after we are gone. My autistic son’s twin brother, a very dependable young man, will carry on after we are gone, but I can understand that many parents are not as fortunate as we are, and we will all need to work together to resolve this problem for everyone.

  5. Yes, it was in MI that the home based day care businesses were unionized by stealth, although I think that has finally ended. The legislature dealt with the home health care worker unionization by defunding whatever department it was that was upholding it…to no avail. Some Repub senator (a physician by the way) out of the Saginaw area has been doing all he can to keep the home health care worker union scam going.

    The unions are also trying to unionzie the student employees of Michigan U in Ann Arbor–not the ones in the school cafeteria, but the grad assistances. They tried that many moons back and failed. This time it looks like they might fail again, but YNK.

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