Feds probe union pension scam

Feds probe union pension scam

Federal law enforcement officials have issued subpoenas and opened a criminal investigation to determine how union officials were able to work one day as a substitute teacher yet be eligible for $100,000 pension plan -- for life. From the Chicago Tribune: Federal authorities have begun a criminal investigation into how nearly a dozen union officials became eligible for inflated city pensions, according to subpoenas obtained by the Tribune and WGN-TV through an open-records request. The Chicago municipal employees and laborers pension funds each received subpoenas from a federal grand jury in October seeking "records pursuant to an official criminal investigation." The request seeks documentation on 11 labor leaders who appeared in reports from a joint Tribune/WGN-TV investigation. The reports focused on a 1991 law that allowed union leaders who once worked for the city to receive credit in public pension plans for their private union work. When they retire, the union officials' pensions aren't based on their old city paychecks but on their much higher union salaries. That opened the door for them to land public pensions that far exceeded their pay as city employees — even as they continued to earn lucrative salaries from their unions. At least eight union officials named in the subpoena who either receive city pensions or are eligible for them also earned credit in union pension funds for the same period of work, despite a state law that was supposed to prevent that. The joint investigation found that some of those labor leaders were participating in up to three pension funds at the same time, accruing retirement benefits that reached as high $500,000 a year.

SEIU Siphons

SEIU Siphons "Dues" from Michigan Medicaid

Outrageous.  That is the only way to describe the SEIU's latest scheme to paid their coffers: If you're a parent who accepts Medicaid payments from the State of Michigan to help support your mentally-disabled adult children,  you qualify as a state employee for the purposes of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They can now claim and receive a portion of your Medicaid in the form of union dues. Robert and Patricia Haynes live in Michigan with their two adult children, who have cerebral palsy. The state government provides the family with insurance through Medicaid, but also treats them as caregivers. For the SEIU, this makes them public employees and thus members of the union, which receives $30 out of the family's monthly Medicaid subsidy. The Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) deducts union dues on behalf of SEIU. Michigan Department of Community Health Director Olga Dazzo explained the process in to her members of her staff.  "MQC3 basically runs the program for SEIU and passes the union dues from the state to the union," she wrote in an emailobtained by the Mackinac Center. Initiated in 2006 under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., the plan reportedly provides the SEIU with $6 million annually in union dues deducted from those Medicaid subsidies. “We're not even home health care workers. We're just parents taking care of our kids,” Robert Haynes, a retired Detroit police officer, told the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “Our daughter is 34 and our son is 30. They have cerebral palsy. They are basically like 6-month-olds in adult bodies. They need to be fed and they wear diapers. We could sure use that $30 a month that's being sent to the union.”

SEIU Siphons "Dues" from Michigan Medicaid

SEIU Siphons "Dues" from Michigan Medicaid

Outrageous.  That is the only way to describe the SEIU's latest scheme to paid their coffers: If you're a parent who accepts Medicaid payments from the State of Michigan to help support your mentally-disabled adult children,  you qualify as a state employee for the purposes of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). They can now claim and receive a portion of your Medicaid in the form of union dues. Robert and Patricia Haynes live in Michigan with their two adult children, who have cerebral palsy. The state government provides the family with insurance through Medicaid, but also treats them as caregivers. For the SEIU, this makes them public employees and thus members of the union, which receives $30 out of the family's monthly Medicaid subsidy. The Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQC3) deducts union dues on behalf of SEIU. Michigan Department of Community Health Director Olga Dazzo explained the process in to her members of her staff.  "MQC3 basically runs the program for SEIU and passes the union dues from the state to the union," she wrote in an emailobtained by the Mackinac Center. Initiated in 2006 under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm, D-Mich., the plan reportedly provides the SEIU with $6 million annually in union dues deducted from those Medicaid subsidies. “We're not even home health care workers. We're just parents taking care of our kids,” Robert Haynes, a retired Detroit police officer, told the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. “Our daughter is 34 and our son is 30. They have cerebral palsy. They are basically like 6-month-olds in adult bodies. They need to be fed and they wear diapers. We could sure use that $30 a month that's being sent to the union.”

Right to Work Debated in State Capitals

Right to Work Debated in State Capitals

    But National Forced-Dues Repeal Measure Still Being Held Back (Source: September 2011 NRTWC Newsletter) Not long ago, Big Labor was crowing about having thwarted citizen efforts to pass new Right to Work laws in Indiana and New Hampshire this year. But it's now clear that the boasts of the union bosses were premature. Legislative support for abolishing compulsory union membership, dues and fees has been and remains strong in both the Hoosier and Granite States. Union lobbyists have therefore had to rely heavily on Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.) and union-label Gov. John Lynch (D-N.H.) to prevent enactment of America's 23rd and 24th state Right to Work laws. But now Mr. Daniels, under increasing heat from thousands and thousands of freedom-loving Hoosiers, including many who have supported him in the past, is signaling that he may reconsider his opposition to legislative votes on Right to Work measures in Indianapolis next year. Meanwhile, Mr. Lynch's late-spring veto of H.B.474, which would prohibit the firing of New Hampshire employees for refusal to pay dues or fees to an unwanted union, may now potentially be overridden because of a sustained Right to Work lobbying campaign. States Can't Afford to Ignore Fact That Compulsory Unionism Hinders Economic Growth "In the two years since the severe 2008-9 national recession officially ended, most state economies have recovered only feebly, if at all," commented National Right to Work Committee President Mark Mix. "That's why many Indianans and New Hampshirites, along with the citizens of a number of other states that have yet to enact Right to Work laws, are now emphatically telling their elected officials that they can't afford to ignore the fact that compulsory unionism hinders economic growth. "Trends in employee compensation, that is, wages, salaries, bonuses and benefits, illustrate well the Right to Work growth advantage. "From 2000 to 2010, the inflation-adjusted outlays of private-sector businesses for employee compensation increased by an average of 11.8% in Right to Work states. That increase is nine times as great as forced-unionism states' combined 1.3% rise over the same period. "Twenty of the 22 Right to Work states experienced a real compensation increase greater than the national average of 4.9%. And 14 of the 15 states with the lowest real compensation growth lack a Right to Work law." Mr. Mix added that faster growth constitutes only a part of Right to Work states' edge. Adjusting for regional differences in living costs with the help of indices created by the non-partisan Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC), in 2010 the average compensation per private-sector employee in Right to Work states was $56,830. That's roughly $1100 more than the average for forced-unionism states. Cost of Living-Adjusted Compensation Higher In Right to Work States