Yankee launches education campaign aimed at personal care attendants

EAST HARTFORD – The Yankee Institute launched an education campaign today to help personal care attendants fully understand their rights related to the forced unionization effort being waged by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), District 1199. “No one can be bullied into this forced unionization scheme,” said Fergus Cullen, the Yankee Institute’s Executive Director. “We are letting PCAs know that they don’t have to sign the cards.”

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The Yankee Institute sent an informational flier to more than 6,000 personal care attendants on the list provided to Yankee by the Malloy Administration after a recent Freedom of Information Act request. Unlike the union documents, it lets PCAs know that up to $780 could be diverted from their paychecks each year in union dues and that a portion of those funds will be used for political activities they may not support.

Governor Malloy set the forced unionization process in motion in September 2011 with Executive Order No. 10, which targeted PCAs for unionization. The Yankee Institute calculated that this move will be worth between $1.4 million and $5 million in dues to SEIU, some of which will go to political activities such as, for example, supporting the Governor’s agenda. According to documents filed with the Office of Labor-Management Standards, SEIU 1199 spent $15.3 million on political activities and lobbying in 2010.

“$780 might not mean much to the Governor or SEIU, but it means a lot to hard working people in Connecticut taking care of some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Instead of being diverted for political organizing, it should be going toward groceries, utility bills, and gas. We are letting the PCAs know that they can’t be bullied into signing the card.”

The Yankee Institute has also set up a hotline for PCAs to report bullying tactics as they see them. They can call the Yankee office at 860-282-0722, e-mail us at unionfacts@yankeeinstitute.org, or visit our website on the subject, www.yankeeinstitute.org/unions

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