Re: The Detroit News’ May 9 Editorial, “Home caregivers say good riddance to union”: Home care workers voted overwhelmingly to join SEIU Healthcare Michigan in an open, transparent election in 2005.
They chose to join a union because SEIU Healthcare Michigan is committed to getting home care workers the training and skills to better care for seniors and people with disabilities.
The trainings included improving first aid skills and lifting techniques, all of which directly affect the care our parents and grandparents get.
These trainings can make a life-and-death difference.
By joining SEIU, these workers not only got access to the kind of training that made them even better caregivers. They also received pay raises and benefits — often for the first time. And they became a strong voice for health care and for the people they served.
As an additional safeguard, SEIU Healthcare Michigan required home care workers to go through criminal background checks and screening so consumers had access to safe, quality care.
These workers’ choice to join SEIU Healthcare Michigan was reversed when Gov. Rick Snyder and Lansing politicians used heavy-handed political maneuvers and rammed through controversial legislation that specifically forced home care workers out of their union.
Right to work had nothing to do with it.
This attack on people who do some of the most difficult jobs in Michigan today represents yet another effort to silence ordinary men and women who simply want a fair shake and the support and resources to do their jobs well.
These workers care for our parents and grandparents, people with disabilities, and people who choose to get care in their own homes.
The good news is that SEIU Healthcare Michigan is hearing from men and women working in health care and asking how they can join our union.
We’re committed to continuing what we do, and that’s fight for health care workers so they can do their jobs better and give people the best care and service.
By removing home care workers’ ability to speak up, the real loser isn’t SEIU Healthcare Michigan.
The real losers as a result of Lansing politicians’ over-reach are our loved ones and people with disabilities who can benefit from well-trained home care workers.
Marge Robinson, RN, president,
SEIU Healthcare Michigan