A group of conservative lawmakers and anti-union types staged a victory celebration of sorts Tuesday over this week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that home health care workers don’t have to pay collective bargaining fees.
They hailed the ruling for ending what they termed “forced unionization” of home care workers.
Their only problem was that the high court decision didn’t overturn any state laws like Connecticut’s that allows those home health employees to have a union and to collectively bargain for better pay and benefits.
“I consider this to be a monumental and historic victory for the rights of individuals,” intoned Rep. Rob Sampson, a conservative Wolcott Republican. Sen. Joe Markley, another GOP conservative from Southington, said he doesn’t believe home health care workers are “appropriate subjects” to be part of any state employee union system.
Pro-union home health care workers weren’t invited to Tuesday’s news conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. But Terrell Williams, a home health worker who belongs to SEIU 1199, said he sees “being part of a union as a privilege.”
“Home care workers put a lot of work in to form this union so we can have a voice on the issues that are important to us,” Williams said in an email.
State and union officials said they still aren’t sure exactly how the Supreme Court ruling will impact Connecticut’s law. But Markley said it’s clear home health care workers who don’t want to pay any fees to cover union collective bargaining expenses won’t have to.