Licensed, registered and subsidized family child-care providers in Minnesota will vote in a mail election next month on whether they want to be represented by a union in their dealings with the state.
Gov. Mark Dayton made the election call today in an executive order that angered opponents of the measure and likely will leadto a legal challenge over the governor’s authority to call the election.
But Dayton said a vote on the matter is the only democratic way to resolve the dispute.
The unionization matter has been pushed strongly by two unions: AFSCME and SEIU, which say they’ve worked with day-care workers in 13 other states.
Only licensed family child-care providers registered to receive subsidy payments for providing child-care services pursuant to the state-funded Child Care Assistance Programs will vote on the matter; if the union is approved, membership (and dues payment) will be voluntary, officials said. About 4,500 providers are affected.
The State Bureau of Mediation will handle the election, with ballots mailed Dec. 6 and returned by Dec. 20.
Some Republican lawmakers, though, said they’ll go to court to fight the union election.
In issuing the election order, Dayton said: “There are two sides to this issue: some child care providers are in favor of joining a union, and some are opposed. The fairest way, and the American way, to settle this dispute is to have an election, where all the people directly affected will have an opportunity to vote.”