Marybeth Hicks

But wouldn’t you know, those business owners now are paying “union dues,” assessed at 1.15 percent of their monthly subsidies. The annual total withheld and diverted directly to CCPTM (read: AFSCME): $3.7 million. Dollars.

Meanwhile, the “employer” doesn’t provide healthcare benefits, training, insurance, a cup of coffee, a company picnic or any other conceivable attribute of employment, least of all, a full-time paycheck. And the union doesn’t negotiate a contract. It simply lobbies the state to set more preferable subsidy rates.

Suffice to say, the independent child care providers could have hired a lobbyist for a lot less than $3.7 million per year.

Three women are suing the DHS for diverting their child care payments as “union dues,” since they say, “the DHS does not have the constitutional authority to reclassify home-based day care providers, who are business owners and independent contractors, as government employees.”

Their attorney, Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation (, says the implications of the case are broad. “If unions can declare private business owners, such as child care providers, as public employees, simply because they receive secondary payments in the form of subsidies, who is next?”

And what other ramifications might there be? Suppose Granny’s Junction is a Christian daycare center, where children learn about Jesus while playing in Granny’s sandbox? If she’s now a state employee, is she barred from promoting a religious preference, even if her beliefs are a reason her clients chose her for child care services?

Thank you, AFSCME, for opening a door the ACLU can walk through.

There’s a reason why unions are on the decline. Most workers don’t need one and they don’t want one. Least of all a fake union that takes money from honest business owners.

Marybeth Hicks

Marybeth Hicks is the author of Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom (Regnery Publishers, 2011).