GOP House leaders are warning Gov. Mark Dayton not to unilaterally unionize home daycare providers through an executive order. In a letter sent on Wednesday, Speaker Kurt Zellers and Majority Leader Matt Dean argue that such a step would violate the state constitution by usurping legislative powers.
“And while other governors in other states may have acted unilaterally in this fashion they were not subject to the Minnesota constitution and laws,” the letter states. “Here, unionization of these small businesses by executive order is clearly beyond the scope of the governor’s power.”
Dayton has been considering issuing an executive order unionizing the state’s 11,000 home daycare providers. Representation would be split between AFSCME Council 5 and the Service Employees International Union. More than half of the daycare providers in the state have signed cards indicating that they would support union representation.
The letter from House leadership is the second sign in recent days that the issue is likely to become a political pinata. On Tuesday state GOP chair Tony Sutton issued a statement lambasting the potential move as an “end run” around the Legislature.
Dayton has not set a time frame for when he will make a decision on the matter. WCCO’s Pat Kessler reported that Dayton said he’s “leaning toward” issuing an executive order directing the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services to oversee an election of daycare providers on the issue.
Read the letter here.
House Research has issued a memo scrutinizing several thorny issues related to the potential organization of daycare providers. It states that home-based daycare providers would “mostly likely” not fall under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Mediation Services because they are not public employees or employees of any single entity.