Keeping up Negotiations Under a Supreme Court Cloud

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Harris v. Quinn, which found that personal assistants for disabled recipients of state aid in Illinois could not be forced to be part of a labor union.  They aren’t state employees, and the state isn’t their direct client.  The people for whom they care are their clients, and they are a disparate group, not an entity with which they can negotiate as a collective.

That ought to have frozen efforts to implement a new Rhode Island law requiring child care providers to be part of a union if their clients receive state subsidies, and yet today’s Providence Journal Political Scene reports that negotiations are ongoing:

This was the initial answer from the Department of Administration’s policy director, Allison Rogers: “The negotiations are ongoing. Subsequently, the department is unable to provide any further comment at this time.”

When pressed recently on why the negotiations are still going on a year later, she said: “This is not an unusual length of time for negotiations, especially for a brand new contract.

It’s good that the reporters are keeping tabs on the progress or lack thereof, but it’s strange that the article doesn’t mention the cloud of unconstitutionality under which the negotiations are happening.

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