Quantcast
Recent News
Home / News / Dayton calls for union vote among child-care providers
Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order on Tuesday calling for an election within 60 days to determine if in-home day-care providers want union representation. The state's roughly 11,000 licensed child-care workers will vote on whether they wish to be represented by the SEIU Kids First Local 284 and AFSCME Council 5.

Dayton calls for union vote among child-care providers

Gov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order on Tuesday calling for an election within 60 days to determine if in-home day-care providers want union representation. The state’s roughly 11,000 licensed child-care workers will vote on whether they wish to be represented by the SEIU Kids First Local 284 and AFSCME Council 5.

The election will be conducted through mail balloting and overseen by the Bureau of Mediation Services. Only licensed providers who receive state subsidies for low-income care will be eligible to participate. If a majority of voters indicate a preference for union representation the bargaining units will be recognized. AFSCME and SEIU will be responsible for any costs associated with the election.

Republican legislative leaders immediately indicated that they will challenge Dayton’s authority to order such an election in court. They argue that the unilateral move is beyond the scope of his executive powers. “We think it’s surprising,” said House Majority Leader Matt Dean, of Dellwood. “We are wondering where this is coming from. As legislators we don’t hear a lot from folks who are asking for this. I have not heard a single request for this from folks in my district.”

Union leaders wrote to Dayton last week asking for an election. They claim to have collected cards indicating support for union representation from more than half of the state’s licensed child-care providers. “While a majority of providers have signed authorizations in the areas listed above, some people have disputed that fact,” wrote AFSCME Council 5 executive director Eliot Seide and SEIU Kids First Local 284 executive director Carol Nieters. “To resolve the controversy, we feel the best way to determine majority support is to have the providers vote in each of the respective areas on whether they wish to be represented by their unions. ”

If child-care providers opt for collective bargaining, the unions would operate differently from other labor organizations. That’s because the unions would not be authorized to negotiate wages for child-care workers. Instead the unions argue that they would provide leverage to workers in negotiating higher state subsidies, quality standards, training opportunities and other benefits.

Opponents of the unionization effort argue that it’s simply an attempt to swell the ranks of SEIU and AFSCME, which provided key support to Dayton in last year’s gubernatorial contest.

About Paul Demko

2 comments

  1. Well it may be an attempt to get him more support in his eyes, but he just lost my vote. I did support him last time. No more. I am a daycare provider. I have had families in the past on child care assistance, I currently don’t. That makes me not able to vote on this union which will impact my business. My privately owned, small business. A minority of daycare providers have families who receive assistance, yet they will be the voice for us all?

  2. This article is somewhat contradictory and the opening paragraph is misleading.

    “The state’s roughly 11,000 licensed child-care workers will vote on whether they wish to be represented by the SEIU Kids First Local 284 and AFSCME Council 5.”

    This is incorrect, and the article goes on to state that in the next paragraph (sort of). Only about 4,400 of the 11,000 providers will be voting because of an arbitrary decision to only allow providers who were registered to provide care for CCAP subsidized children as of September 2011. Providers frequently move in and out of this group, depending on who their clients are at any given time. Clearly, the arbitrary cut off date was designed to prevent more providers from registering for CCAP to qualify to vote.

    If the vote goes in the union’s favor, all providers will be impacted as the state will view the union as the exclusive representative of the childcare providers to bargain with, yet only a select group of providers will be allowed to vote? It’s probably no coincidence that the regularly registered CCAP providers are those most likely to favor unions.

    And these people complain about voter disenfranchisement because of voter ID! Seems like they just don’t like fair elections.

Leave a Reply