Letters, Government, and Health Care

Proposal 4 puts unions in the middle of home care

November 5, 2012
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To the Editor:

As a handicapped person, I'm very concerned about Proposal 4.

This constitutional amendment is being portrayed by certain “special interest groups” as something to help people, like myself, get safe reliable home care aids. If that were only true.

This amendment would force everyone who works as a home care worker care into a union . . . including caregivers who are family members. These workers won't even get the opportunity to vote whether or not they want to be unionized. This is a $6 million money grab by the unions – taking the dollars that should be paid to caregivers and instead lining the pockets of union bosses.

The claim that Proposal 4 will require background checks seems like a good idea, but in reality, it isn't really that necessary because agencies are already doing this. They do it to protect themselves. In the twelve years since my injury, I've yet to come across an agency that does not do this. If you think this should be a law, fine. Let's pass a law. Not an irreversible constitutional amendment.

The amendment also claims it will increase caregivers’ wages. How much of that wage increase will be taken to cover union dues? How in the world will they negotiate a contract, given the varied working conditions and assignments that caregivers have. Will they strike? That will do wonders for people who rely on them to help get them get out of bed, shower and assist with other activities of daily living. Explain to elderly or handicapped folks that they won't be fed while their home care worker is forced to walk a picket line, one that they didn’t even vote to authorize. I'm sure they'll understand.

In regard to the pay issue, I pay for my home care out-of-pocket, as many others do. I already pay much more than the $8 an hour that the ads claim. What if the union forces wages to increase so much that I can't afford care for the week? I guess people don't have to eat every day.

Remember, folks, unions are businesses too – the more members they have, the higher their revenues . . . only they don’t pay dividends to investors. They do reward their officers and direct employees quite well, though.

The relationships I have with my home care workers are very special; these caring individuals become part of the family.

Please don't put the union between me and my caregiver.

Vote NO on Proposal 4.

Matthew Decker
Macomb

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