November 14, 2005

Judge: Home-based Child Care Providers NOT "Effectively" state workers

Marc Comtois

According to a Katherine Gregg posting on the ProJo's newish blog:

A Superior Court judge has sided with the Carcieri administration in rejecting a state Labor Board ruling that home-based child-care workers are effectively state workers because they are so highly controlled by the state. . .

In his decision today, Judge Daniel A. Procaccini wrote, "The board's decision offends any reasonable notion of orderly and responsible expansion of the state's work force." He added that the board's analysis, "if accepted, may be applied to a myriad of groups that supply goods or services to the state."

The workers were seeking state employee status so they could bargain collectively and pursue other benefits of state employment.

Good to see some judicial sanity, eh? Governor Carcieri released a statement applauding the decision.
“Today’s ruling was a clear victory for Rhode Island’s taxpayers,” Governor Carcieri said. “The Labor Board’s decision to unilaterally add 1,300 people to the state payroll was unprecedented and legally insupportable. Today, the court agreed that independent businesspeople who are licensed by the state to provide services – however valuable those services may be – are not state employees.”

"The implications of this decision for the state budget and for Rhode Island taxpayers cannot be overestimated,” Governor Carcieri continued. “We already know that we will have to make a number of difficult decisions in the state budget for the coming fiscal year. The Labor Board’s original, flawed decision could have increased the cost of Rhode Island’s child care subsidy program by $8 to $10 million per year. That’s money that the state doesn’t have, and that taxpayers cannot afford to pay. Thanks to today’s ruling, Rhode Island taxpayers won’t have to shoulder that additional burden."

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This is GREAT news, but .... it ain't over by a long shot.

The union behind this, SEIU, is aggressive, determined and is a real bottom-fisher union - they'll use tactics that are far less than ethical if it suits their aims.

Smear campaigns against employers targeted for organizing drives are their forte (Guy Dufault would fit right in.)

Expect at a minimum an appeal to the Supreme Court. That is kosher.

But also expect back-room legislation from our bottom-fisher General Assembly to get around this ruling.

All for the children, of course!

Posted by: Tom W at November 14, 2005 5:29 PM

It's about time common sense won around here. It's actually been a pretty good month for good government in Rhode Island, hasn't it? Three cheers for Judge Procaccini!
I agree with Tom, don't drop your guard for a minute. The worst thing other than apathy is complacency. We're dealing with people that'd shake us with one hand, and stab us in the back with the other.

It's always for "the children," isn't it? Sadly, it almost never really is.

Posted by: Will at November 15, 2005 12:59 AM