Minnesota Republican Party chairman Tony Sutton is hitting unions over the quest to organize day care workers.
“It is more than a little ironic that the movement to unionize independent home daycare providers started because some providers were unhappy about state regulations and delays in state childcare subsidy payments,” Sutton said. “Government fails and the answer is joining a union that is in bed with big government?"
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union have been working since 2005 to bolster their ranks with the in-home child-care providers who care for about 129,000 children. That effort is now in its final stages. AFSCME, charged with canvassing northern Minnesota, says it has obtained signatures from a majority of caregivers in the counties it covers. SEIU, which concentrated on the southern half of the state, says it is nearing its goal.
"It's a very hot issue,'' said Katy Chase, executive director of the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, a professional organization that is neutral on the unionization effort. "We have members that are pro-union, and members that are anti-union.'' She said [Gov. Mark] Dayton has the authority to issue "an executive order that would or could affect the entire state. It's a really big deal.''