Dayton's idea to unionize day care workers roils

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  • September 19, 2011 - 6:22 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton Wednesday said he would not issue an executive order to unilaterally recognize unions as day care workers representative but may ask for an election on the issue.

"I haven’t made any decision on it,” Dayton told reporters. “If there is going to be a decision made, we’ve talked about …having an election that would be conducted by, for example, the Bureau of Mediation Services so it would be done fairly and responsibly and allows all the people who would be affected by that decision to have a say in it. I’m not going to dictate the outcome of that.”

In other states, governors have issued executive orders to automatically unionize day care workers, Dayton said. He is not considering that path.

"I could issue another kind of executive order that would decree something but I’m not going to do that," he said.

The question is the result of years of work by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union to represent the more than 11,000 licensed family child care workers across the state.

Since the Star Tribune reported on the issue on Monday, Republicans have inveighed against the idea.

On Wednesday House Speaker Kurt Zellers and House Majority Leader Matt Dean wrote Dayton a letter to "dissuade" him from issuing an executive order to unionize family daycare providers.

"Simply put, the action you are proposing to take will kill jobs in Minnesota and increase costs to Minnesota families. This would be unwise given the current economic conditions we face in Minnesota," they wrote.

The letter largely reacts to the idea of a unilateral unionization from the governor. It does not address the concept, which Dayton appeared to back Wednesday, of ordering a workers' election on unionization.




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