United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
Sandy Winner and Laura Baston, individually and on behalf of all other similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
Governor Bruce Rauner, in his official capacity as Governor of Illinois, and SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
S. Shah United States District Judge
Sandy Winner and Laura Baston are providers of day care home
services in Illinois who chose not to join the union, SEIU
Local No. 880, but who nonetheless paid the required
fair-share fee to SEIU for the union's collective
bargaining efforts. They bring this lawsuit seeking the
return of all fair-share fees previously paid without consent
and to enforce the Supreme Court's holding in Harris
v. Quinn, 134 S.Ct. 2618 (2014). Count I against SEIU is
for damages for violation of plaintiffs' rights under 42
U.S.C. § 1983. Counts II and III against SEIU are for
unjust enrichment and money had and received. Count IV
against SEIU and the state is for a permanent injunction and
declaratory relief for violation of plaintiffs' rights
under § 1983. Both defendants moved for judgment on the
pleadings. Both motions are granted.
the pleadings are closed-but early enough not to delay
trial-a party may move for judgment on the pleadings.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(c). The moving party must prove there are no
material issues of fact that need to be resolved. N.
Indiana Gun & Outdoor Shows, Inc. v. City of S.
Bend, 163 F.3d 449, 452 (7th Cir. 1998). The court may
grant a Rule 12(c) motion only if it appears beyond doubt
that the plaintiff cannot prove any facts that would support
her claim for relief. Id. (quotation omitted). To
make this determination, the court accepts all well-pleaded
facts as true and draws all inferences in favor of the
plaintiff. Dawson v. Gen. Motors Corp., 977 F.2d
369, 372 (7th Cir. 1992). The court only considers the
complaint, the answer, any attached written instruments that
the complaint refers to and that are central to
plaintiff's claim, and any information that is subject to
judicial notice. Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c); Venture Assocs.
Corp. v. Zenith Data Sys. Corp., 987 F.2d 429, 431 (7th
Cir. 1993), overruled on other grounds; Geinosky
v. City of Chicago, 675 F.3d 743, 745 n.1 (7th Cir.
Illinois Department of Human Services administers an
affordable child-care program for low-income, working
families.  ¶¶ 11-12; 305 ILCS 5/9A-11; 89 Ill.
Admin. Code § 50.210 et seq. Winner began
working as a day care home provider for this program in
approximately 2000, and Baston began in approximately 1989.
 ¶¶ 7-8. As of the date the complaint was
filed, both Winner and Baston still worked as providers.
Id. Providers are employed by families who
participate in the program, not by the state. 
¶¶ 13, 15, 18.
February 18, 2005, the governor of Illinois issued the
“Executive Order On Collective Negotiation by Day Care
Home Providers.”  ¶¶ 21-22; [24-1] at 1-
3. It explained that since the state does not hire,
supervise, or terminate providers, they are not state
employees and consequently, providers are not eligible to
receive statutory benefits.  ¶ 24. It also provided:
“The State shall recognize a representative […],
as the exclusive representative of day care home
providers.” Id. The Executive Order was
codified by Public Act 94-320, which amended the definition
of “public employee” in 305 ILCS 5/9A-11 of the
Illinois Public Aid Code, Child Care to include providers.
 ¶¶ 25, 30; [24-2] at 1-8. The amendment, like
the Executive Order, did not reference fair-share fees.
Id. Before and after the amendment, 5 ILCS 315/3
included a definition for fair-share agreements:
‘Fair share agreement' means an agreement between
the employer and an employee organization under which all or
any of the employees in a collective bargaining unit are
required to pay their proportionate share of the costs of the
collective bargaining process, contract administration, and
pursuing matters affecting wages, hours, and other conditions
of employment, but not to exceed the amount of dues uniformly
required of members. The amount certified by the exclusive
representative shall not include any fees for contributions
related to the election or support of any candidate for
political office. Nothing in this subsection (g) shall
preclude an employee from making voluntary political
contributions in conjunction with his or her fair share
the Executive Order, providers were required to elect, by a
majority, an exclusive representative with whom the state
would engage in collective negotiations “concerning all
terms and conditions of the provision of services for day
care home providers under the State's child care
assistance program.” [24-1] at 2-3. SEIU became the
exclusive representative of providers on July 15, 2005. 
¶ 31; [24-6] at 2. Baston received a notice addressed to
home child-care providers who were not members of SEIU Local
880.  ¶ 34; [24-3] at 1-3. The notice informed
providers that SEIU negotiated a comprehensive collective
bargaining agreement “establishing the rates, benefits
and working conditions of all Home Child Care
Providers.” [24-3] at 1. It also explained that the
collective bargaining agreement required all providers to pay
a fair-share fee, which covered each provider's
proportionate share of the costs SEIU incurred while
representing providers in these endeavors. Id. The
collective bargaining agreement was between SEIU, the
Illinois Department of Central Management Services, and the
Department of Human Services; it was effective from July 1,
2013 through June 30, 2015.  ¶ 54; [24-6] at 1-23.
received a letter from the Illinois Department of Human
Services dated July 28, 2014.  ¶ 66; [24-7]. It
briefly explained the Supreme Court's holding in
Harris, which found the collection of compulsory
fair-share fees from in-home-care personal assistants, who
were not full-fledged state employees, unconstitutional.
Id. The letter informed Baston that defendants would
no longer collect fair-share fees from providers for services
it conducted after July 1, 2014, unless the provider has
agreed to full union membership. Id.
their employment, neither Winner nor Baston agreed to full
union membership with SEIU.  ¶¶ 7-8.
Nevertheless, both Winner and Baston paid fair-share fees to
SEIU for almost ten years.  ¶ 3.
Count IV for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Does not
Present a Justiciable Controversy
and declaratory judgment remedies are discretionary.
Nat'l Health Fed'n v. Weinberger, 518 F.2d
711, 712 (7th Cir. 1975) (citing Abbott Laboratories v.
Gardner, 387 U.S. 136, 148 (1967)). Premature
adjudication caused by meddling in abstract disagreements or
interfering in agency decision-making should be avoided, as
it wastes judicial resources. Abbott, 387 U.S. at
148-49. Courts grant such remedies only when the controversy
is ripe for judicial resolution. Alcan ...