Gov. Mark Dayton has not said what he will do about unionizing in-home child-care providers, but has said it may be preferable to give providers a vote on the issue. It is unclear how a vote would be conducted, and providers who oppose the union are trying to weigh in before Dayton decides.
Jennifer Parrish, a child-care provider from Rochester who opposes the union, said her group, known as the Coalition of Family Child Care Providers, wants the governor to require that a majority of the state's 11,000 providers be required, rather than a majority of those voting in the election. Otherwise, she said, a minority could prevail in establishing a union for all providers.
The group met with the governor's staff in August on the issue, but a letter to the governor Tuesday asked for a face-to-face meeting with Dayton. "Your decision to proceed will have lasting consequences for family child care professionals and the families we serve,'' said the letter.
Dayton has been approached by two unions, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Service Employees International Union. They have been trying to organize licensed family child care providers into bargaining units for the purpose of negotiating subsidy rates and licensing issues with state and local governments. He is considering the issue.
The providers' advocacy group, the Minnesota Licensed Family Child Care Association, is neutral on the topic of unionization, but agrees with Parrish's group that a majority of all providers should be required for the unions to prevail.