In 2003, now disgraced Governor Rod Blagojevich signed an Executive Order allowing for the unionization of personal care attendants (PCAs).
The bill was codified through legislation shortly thereafter.
The first contract was signed in October of 2003. While it did include a raise of $2.35 per hour over the course of four years, it did not include health insurance.
SEIU was able to negotiate funding for health insurance but instead of having the state provide health insurance to these PCAs, the union negotiated to have the state funnel them millions of dollars into a health care fund to be run by the union. This provided SEIU with additional funding on top of the millions per year they were receiving in dues. Only a limited number of PCAs can receive health insurance. The amounts negotiated for the union to use at it's discretion are staggering.
In 2009, Governor Quinn signed an executive order that allowed for unionization of an additional group of PCAs not included in the first executive order.
The PCAs and the individuals who use this program fought back and won the election by a margin of 2–1.
The Governor refused to rescind the executive order and SEIU could come back at any time and file for another election. A group of PCAs, with the assistance of Attorney William Messenger of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed a Federal lawsuit.
That case is now sitting before the Supreme Court, which decided to hear it for the 2013-2014 term. The Cato Institute filed an amicus brief in support of this suit, along with the National Federation of Independent Business and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
The amicus for Pam Harris and the other petitioners is at http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs-v3/11-681_pet.authcheckdam.pdf
Oral arguments are slated for January 21, 2014 and a ruling is expected by June. If this lawsuit is successful, it will likely end unionization of both PCAs and child care providers nationally. This is the link to the Supreme Court's history on this case:
Fair Share Fees: No longer permitted after Harris v. Quinn
Health Insurance: Yes, limited number of participants.