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Dayton to fight judge's block of child care workers unionization vote

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton Updated: December 8, 2011 - 2:13 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton has decided to fight the Ramsey County judge's decision blocking an election among child care workers on unionization, according to his office.

On Monday, Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman  issued a temporary restraining order to stop the election that Dayton, through an executive order, had called for last month.  The judge, while saying he was respecting the governor’s executive powers, said he was not persuaded that the unionization vote had to occur so quickly.

According to the state's attorney general's office, which represented Dayton in the matter, that left Dayton with three choices: fight allowing the restraining order from being converted into a temporary injunction at a January hearing; rescinding the executive order or appealing the temporary restraining order to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Dayton has decided to fight the order in January, his spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said.

The issue of childcare unionization has sparked an outcry among Republicans, including the GOP-led Minnesota Senate, who have complained Dayton overplayed his power and is attempting to reach into the matters of private, in home childcare. But backers have said childcare workers should be offered the choice to unionize and increase their power in negotiations.

Dayton's order would only have allowed unionization at the 4,000 or so childcare facilities that are eligible to receive state subsidized children. The other 7,000 or so child care providers would not be eligible for unionization or a vote in the election Dayton ordered.

Dayton had met with the attorney general's office on Tuesday to discuss his options. He decided at that time to wait until he received the written order from the judge. That order is now available.

The ballots for the election were to go out this week but that was stopped by Lindman's Monday order.

The attorney general's letter outlining Dayton's options (Note: The hearing is actually January 17): December 7 Letter

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