“I have been running a day care to provide child care for low-income families since the 1990s. I didn’t realize that SEIU was taking so much money until one day I looked at some of my paystubs. SEIU takes dues from each check I receive, per child.”

“I am paid by the state between $38 and $41 per child per day. That comes out to less than $4 per hour most days since I will care for children sometimes up to 11 hours. After the day care expenses, taxes and union dues, some days I am not even making minimum wage.”

“I calculated that from 1999-2014 the unions took between $1,200 and $2,000 per year in dues from my hard-earned money. They shouldn’t be able to take money from each of my checks, since I never opted in to the union.”

“It looks like we’re making a good amount of money but not really.”

“If you’ve received 10 checks, money was coming out of each of those checks every month, and then when I needed help during the pandemic or just for running my business, I couldn’t get anything from the union.”

“Running a day care center out of your home is costly, and the union doesn’t provide any additional funds or services. If I have an issue with my payments from the state, the union refuses to help me.”

“SEIU claims to help fight for salary raises, but we were going to get these salary raises anyway. There’s no point to being in the union, since they don’t give us anything for all the money we pay in dues.”

“The union claims to provide all medical benefits, but I have to go to Cook County to get free mammograms or flu shots. I don’t know how I would have received medical care if it weren’t for the county, because the union hasn’t provided any help, yet they take money from all of my checks.”

“I remember when the union members used to go down to Springfield, they told us to go down and bring the kids. We left for Springfield at 6 a.m. and had to pay $35 to ride the bus in addition to $15 for the T-shirt to wear. When we go to Springfield, they left us out in the rain, no food, water or anything. The children with me were crying from being wet and hungry. We got back home at 2 a.m. It was such a mess.”

“I told the union rep that I would never go to Springfield with them again, and they threatened that then they wouldn’t provide services for me. Yet, they don’t do that anyway. And, I know they made so much money off of those bus trips. A school bus can hold roughly 50 adults, so at $35 per head plus the T-shirts, that’s a good chunk of change they made per each bus without providing us with anything. It was a miserable experience.”

“Recently, I received letters with information for how to opt out, and I signed those forms to send them in. I have tried in the past to look for help with opting out. I would fill out my information and story for different lawyers or non-profits, but they would never get back to me.”

“I want to tell my story so other child care providers are informed about their options to opt out of the union. I want all my money in dues back, with interest. It is not fair that I was forced into an agreement when I never opted in to being a union member to begin with.”

“We child care providers work hard for the little money we earn. It’s not fair that the union gets rich off of our hard work.”

Janice Singleton
Child care provider
Chicago, Illinois