Judge puts hold on agreements under Wolf care worker policy

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 23, 2015 3:15 PM

(Harrisburg) --  A judge is halting an element of a policy by Governor Tom Wolf that critics describe as an illegal attempt to unionize workers who care for the elderly or disabled. 

Commonwealth Court Judge Dan Pellegrini has issued an order preventing the Wolf administration from entering into written agreements under the policy while the case is pending. 

"This is a huge victory for folks like our clients Don Lambrect and Dave Smith who have no interest in having a union interrupt their mutually beneficial working relationship," says David Osborne, general counsel for the Fairness Center. "The injunction prevents the union and the governor from coming to terms that harm home care workers and their employers, who are often family members or close friends.

Wolf's February 27 order creates an advisory group on care workers and directs his human services secretary to meet with people who represent workers paid through a state program.  

The judge's order means that meetings to discuss issues of mutual concern can't result in written memorandums of understanding.

The legal challenge is being pursued by a man with muscular dystrophy and the worker he's employed for 25 years.

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