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Minnesota home health care workers move ahead with union vote

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In spite of last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that was widely viewed as a setback to their cause, a union is moving ahead with its effort to organize Minnesota's home health care workers.

MPR News reports supporters of a union say documents they filed with the state Tuesday will launch a unionization vote among 26,000 workers who care for elderly or disabled people in their homes.

The Service Employees International Union has been working to organize personal care assistants since the 2013 Legislature passed a law authorizing union votes by home-based health care and day care providers.

The high court ruled last week that home health care workers in Illinois cannot be required to pay union fees. While they are paid through state subsidies, the justices ruled they are not public employees.

As the Star Tribune reports, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees has been leading the organizing effort among child care workers under the same Minnesota law authorizing union drives.

But a judge last fall put any union vote among day care providers on hold while that law is challenged.

Last week KSTP visited with day care workers about the impact of the Supreme Court decision.

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MPR reports the commissioner of the state's Bureau of Mediation Services says the timetable for a union vote among home health care workers will be issued later this week.

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