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Child care unionization up for showdown vote

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: May 14, 2013 - 11:04 AM

The unionization of in-home child care workers faces a showdown vote in the Minnesota Senate Tuesday.

A years-long effort by two powerful state unions is reaching a climax with the Senate vote. The Service Employees International Union, SEIU, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFSCME, are behind the effort.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Pappas, DFL-St. Paul, would allow certain licensed and unlicensed in-home child care workers to vote on whether they want to join an AFSCME local.

It would give the same opportunity to certain in-home personal care attendants, generally those caring for close relatives or friends, to join SEIU.

Opponents held a news conference to denounce the child-care union effort. They said the bill was written to produce a pool of voting child care providers most likely to support unionization, and excludes half of the licensed providers who would be affected by the unionization.

Supporters said unionization is a way of improving in-home care and giving providers a voice in state policies.

Pappas said is hopeful of passage, but it is not assured. The bill faced rough sledding in committee, and only made it out of the Senate Finance Committee on a second vote without a recommendation that it be passed into law.

A similar bill is awaiting action in the House.

 

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