An issue that has come to light recently is the childcare provider unionization vote. I’d like to provide some information to you about the process.
On January 22nd of this year, the Child Care Providers Together, a branch of AFSCME, submitted valid signature cards from 30% of the providers who received child care assistance funds (otherwise known as CCAP) in the last year, triggering a unionization vote. On February 8th, ballots were mailed out to 2,384 child care providers, which constitutes approximately 1/3 of all child care providers in Minnesota. These ballots must be received by the Bureau of Mediation Services no later than February 29th to be counted in the final vote tally.
This vote is a blatant attempt by AFSCME to grow the power of their union in our state by adding dues taken from child care providers to their coffers. If you are a child care provider who has received CCAP funds in the last year, your ballot should arrive shortly in the mail. A vote “yes” is a vote in favor of unionization, and a vote “no” is a vote against forming a union.
CCAP funds help low income families afford daycare services for their children. By taking union dues from providers receiving CCAP funds, daycare providers will be forced to increase charges to families for their necessary daycare services. This will further stretch family budgets, and reduce the number of daycare providers who will care for children from families receiving CCAP, especially in rural areas. The net result is that unions will increase their coffers at the expense of low income families and their children. Unfortunately, Governor Dayton and a majority of DFL members support the union's efforts.
In other states, similar unionization attempts have been successful, mainly due to low voter “turn out.” If the majority of the ballots returned are votes in favor of unionization, providers receiving CCAP will be unionized. AFSMCE is working hard to insure that only providers who are likely to vote “yes” return their ballots. It is essential that providers do the same in opposition, and encourage a “no” vote on this measure. The Republican caucus has raised questions about what criteria was used by the Department of Human Services to determine who was qualified to vote, and I hope those concerns will be addressed. I will continue to look into this issue. Please do what you can to prevent this union take-over of yet another part of our workforce.
Thank you, and have a great week.