A Commonwealth Court judge has issued a preliminary injunction to stop full enforcement of Gov. Tom Wolf's executive order to stealthily unionize home healthcare workers.
For folks like Dave Smith and his care provider Don Lambrecht, the injunction is wave of relief. The two men have lived together for years and they have no interest in a union dictating their working relationship.
The unionization drive by the United Home Care Workers of Pennsylvania (UHWP) will continue. However, even if UHWP is selected to represent workers, the state cannot get involved in collecting dues from individual paychecks until the full court addresses the legality of Wolf’s executive order.
The union’s goal is to skim 2 percent of home care workers’ salaries from their pay, which would be up to $8.4 million each year if dues were collected from all 20,000 homecare workers under this order. Not a bad return after UHWP backers AFSCME and the SEIU contributed heavily to Gov. Wolf’s election campaign.
Dave and Don aren't the only ones concerned with the governor's overreach. On Monday, President Pro Tempore Scarnati and Speaker of the House Turzai filed an Amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Fairness Center’s lawsuit. The leaders noted;
Executive Order 2015-05 is a blatant attempt by the Governor to circumvent the constitutionally-granted legislative authority of the General Assembly. The executive order should be declared invalid.
The Senate Republican Majority Caucus also issued a motion to intervene on the same day. And yesterday members of the Senate Health and Public Welfare Committee pressed acting-secretary Ted Dallas on the necessity of the order (paywall).
David Osborne, general counsel for the Fairness Center, notes, “No one—Republican or Democrat—should be comfortable with their governor issuing unconstitutional executive orders.”
Click here for more background on Wolf’s executive order.