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Gov. Dayton calls for day-care provider union vote

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.”

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/15/2011 - 03:17 pm.

    It would be helpful to know what Dayton claims his authority to be to order this election. As I understand it, the people he’s trying to organize are small business owners.

    Even if he’s correct that some want a vote, it’s really not up to him to call one, at least on the basis of my limited understanding of labor law.

    So, governor, tell me what it is I’m missing here, please.

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 11/16/2011 - 10:31 am.

    James, this whole thing revolves around unions looking for a way to get their hands into another pot of public dollars; in this case child care subsidies, which are of course, extracted from the public treasury.

    Dayton must believe he has some control over the allocation of the public’s treasure…he’s wrong, of course – that’s the legislatures mandate.

    One might also wonder why the union would agree to allow voluntary membership, even if they are voted in. That’s because they believe Democrat legislators will tie child care subsidies to a mandatory use of unionized child care providers.

    Bet the farm on it.

  3. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 11/16/2011 - 12:51 pm.

    James, as governor, he runs the employer with him the child care providers would bargain. The state counts as the employer because of the subsidies involved. He’s just agreeing to an election rather than dragging it through the courts and probably losing.

  4. Submitted by Jeff Kline on 11/16/2011 - 02:18 pm.

    Does anyone here even become concerned when Dayton even attempts this? Why is a politician; a sitting governor attempt to force a unionization vote in a private sector business???

    Do you really believe this is within his scope of law to do???
    Please; if you say yes, I need you to cite the authority.

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