children playing

After Supreme Court ruling, Massachusetts lets child care providers opt out of union dues

Printer-friendly versionSend by emailPDF version
Higgins, Sean
Publication Date: 
5 Aug 2014



State-licensed child care providers in Massachusetts will no longer be required to pay dues to the Service Employees International Union, the latest consequence of the Supreme Court's Harris v. Quinn decision.

The move suggests that the court's action, already a severe blow to Illinois public sector unions, is also having a profound national impact on Big Labor as well.

The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care made the announcement in an Aug. 1 letter to the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation. From now on, the state will only deduct union dues from "providers who have authorized such deductions." The foundation represents providers in the state program. It also represented the plaintiffs in Harris v. Quinn.

The state's announcement means that an estimated 4,000 providers in Massachusetts can now opt to stop paying union dues, a right they didn't previously have under the state's contract with the union.

That decision follows news that SEIU would allow the Harris v. Quinn ruling to apply to an estimated 50,000 Illinois daycare providers as well. The union also announced July 7 that if it wins an August election to represent an estimated 26,000 home care providers in Minnesota, it will not require non-union workers to pay "fair-share" fees.

The various cases show that while the Harris v. Quinn ruling officially only applied to Illinois home care providers, it has created a precedent that is affecting similar programs in states across the nation.


read online at Washington Examiner