Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s still thinking about issuing an executive order that would allow in-home child care workers to vote on whether they should form a union. Dayton told reporters today that he is thinking about “leaning toward giving the people of Minnesota in that affected industry the chance to decide.”
Dayton said he was unwilling to issue a decree that would automatically enroll in-home child care providers into a union. Instead, he said he was leaning towards authorizing a process that would allow the workers to decide the issue.
“I’m talking to all of the parties, including both sides that are for it and against it,” Dayton said. “We’ve talked about having an election that would be conducted by the Bureau of Mediation Services so it would be done fairly and responsibly and in a way that allows all of the people affected by that decision to have a say in it. I’m not going to dictate the outcome of that to child care providers and employees all over the state. If it does proceed, they will be the ones to determine that outcome.”
Dayton made his comments after reports surfaced that he was thinking about issuing an executive order to allow in-home child care workers to unionize.
GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Majority Leader Matt Dean also jumped into the fray today. They sent a letter to Gov. Dayton telling him that they don’t think he has the authority to do it.
“Private, self-employed home-based child care providers are independent contractors, not public employees nor employers of any single employer. You lack the authority since an executive order purporting to unionize these small businesses would inherently entail lawmaking. Under Article III of our state’s constitution, lawmaking is a funtion solely entrusted to the Legislature. And while the Legislature can relinquish a limited delegation of this lawmaking authority to you, no such delegation has occurred.”
“Nor is that likely occur in the foreseeable future.” [sic]
The letter didn’t address whether Zellers or Dean believed Dayton could call an election on the matter. But their spokeswoman said they doubt whether Dayton could even take that step.
Dayton’s spokesman said the governor isn’t fazed by the letter.
Here’s the letter from Zellers and Dean: