…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
While serious journalists ponder that infamous menu and the size of Prime Ministerial backside, I got puzzled by something else, something trivial. I admit I do not believe anything Gillard says, and I got to the stage that I would not accept her claim that it is now five o’clock without checking. Her dishonesty far exceeds that of her Labor colleagues; and that it not a mean feat.
Thus I wondered about her National Disability Insurance Scheme, where, at the first glance there is nothing wrong except the non-existent funding. Who can be against helping disabled? The Opposition isn’t. Media aren’t. Public isn’t. Neither of whom, of course, read the proposal in any detail, which are in any case scarce. It is a ‘feel good’ policy by a headline, something which we became accustomed to under the dismal Rudd/Gillard government.
Yet, yet… Any suggestion that Gillard cares about the disabled is preposterous. So what/who does she cares about, besides herself? Obviously, she cares about, and obeys, her masters, the trade union apparatchiks. Then I remembered something I have read. Michelle Malkin a few days ago:
“Loyal readers will recall that in the fall of 2009, I published special reports on the parental revolt against Big Labor’s attempts to force their way into the homes and lives of families who care for developmentally disabled loved ones. One of the moms I spotlighted, Pam Harris, refused to surrender. Her class-action lawsuit challenging Illinois Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn’s SEIU-pandering executive order is now before the Supreme Court. —
As Harris said when the suit brought by the National Right to Work Foundation Legal Defense Foundation was first filed: “We are NOT ‘public employees.’ We are parents who take care of our adult sons and daughters with significant disabilities in our homes, in the community so they can thrive and live safely with meaning and purpose. We will not allow our Constitutional right of free political expression and association to be violated by the Governor of Illinois.”
Roughly 3,500 people in Illinois receive state funding to assist someone, usually a family member, at home with a developmental disability. In June, Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn signed an executive order approving collective bargaining by “individual providers of home-based support services” — effectively busting open the doors of private homes for the Purple Shirts of the SEIU and other union competitors hungry for new dues-paying members.
The home-based workers weren’t seeking a collective bargaining agent.
But unions were targeting them…
Over the last month, home-based providers started have been receiving unexpected visits from out-of-state union lackeys trying to recruit them with the promise of health care benefits and more money. Last week, providers began receiving ballots to elect the SEIU or the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to represent them. Yes, Illinois provided both the SEIU and AFSCME with the names and home addresses of all 3,500 in-home care providers for the purposes of increasing their membership rolls and political clout.
You read that right: The state of Illinois released the names and private addresses of those providers to union goons. Yep, sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
As I reported three years ago, parent Pam Harris and families like hers were punished for speaking out:
Pam Harris of Western Springs, Illinois, the mother of a 20-year-old son with severe developmental disabilities who receives in-home care stipends, questioned the state’s failure to make a no-representation option clear. She and other parents dared to criticize the union effort publicly in a piece published September 3 in the Chicago Tribune. (“I am not an employee of the state,” Harris said. “I work from my home. I don’t want the union in my home. I can Norma Rae with the rest of them.”) Harris and other parents scraped together their own money (no match for Big Labor coffers) and put together an informational flyer to counter-balance the pro-union propaganda and inform home-based providers that they could opt for no union representation.
The union-pandering state government responded by trying to gag parental critics — yet another stark illustration of SEIU president Andy Stern’s “persuasion of power.”
On September 11, home-based providers received this warning from the Department of Human Services informing them that “it is the position of the State of Illinois that service facilitation providers within the Home-Based Support Services Program remain neutral as it pertains to the election covering Personal Support Workers. Your compliance is greatly appreciated:”
…And on September 21, the state sent yet another memo out to home-based providers threatening to cut off funding for making “anti-union” statements…
Parent Pam Harris summed it up for me last week: “Our governor receives money and support from a union. He signs an Executive Order allowing that union to organize a unique group of workers who provide personal supports to people with substantial functioning limitations in the privacy of their home. Most of who[m] are parents. In the Executive Order, the Governor states that this group of workers are NOT employees of the State of Illinois but he acts like our boss when he says that ‘the state will recognize a representative designated by a majority’ of the workers. Then neither the state or the unions inform the unique group that they have a right to vote for NO union representation until 2 weeks prior to the election. The state also successfully quashes any legitimate avenues for the flow of information about the option for NO union representation by sending a thinly veiled ‘cease and desist memo’ to every personal support worker and every service facilitation provider. Our adult children have substantial functional limitations. We are just trying to get accurate information about a very important decision that will affect their lives. Maybe someone thinks we are too overwhelmed caring for our children to pay attention. Well, they are mistaken.”
Culture of intimidation. Culture of corruption. Sound familiar?
Quinn’s executive order does not have an expiration date and he refuses to rescind it. As Harris told me in an update late last week, “the only reason the union is not actively seeking to unionize personal support workers in the Home Based program is Harris v Quinn – our class action lawsuit against Governor Quinn and the SEIU. —”
As Michelle said, “Culture of intimidation. Culture of corruption. Sound familiar?” Yes, very much so. That’s our Australia. Someone may say that our situation is different. Yes, it is to some extent, but the forces of darkness, i.e. socialists as represented in Australia by Australian Labor Party, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Greensparty, most of the academia and assorted muddled Marxists try to copy all that is detrimental to democracy from all over the world, but in particular from the United States. As I wrote elsewhere, there is not a one original thinker amongst the herd of them.
Is the Gillard’s NDIS a ploy to give more power to the unions? I do not know. The devil is in the details. But do not expect the card carrying scribblers of record to bother to read anything; regurgitating Labor press releases is their idea of journalism. Besides, they have menus to study. Hopefully, it will be some maligned blogger somewhere who will take the time to read the fine print.
In the meantime, don’t trust Gillard and the Labor party. They do not mean well.