Dayton orders union vote for child care providers

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton signed an executive order today authorizing a union vote for thousands of state-susidized, in-home day care providers in Minnesota.

The order directs the State Bureau of Mediation Services to conduct the election, which will be scheduled in December. Membership would be voluntary if providers approved the unionization. During a news conference, Dayton acknowledged his support in general for labor unions. But he stressed his action was only mandating a vote.

“I’ve heard and met with both proponents and opponents of this measure,” Dayton said. “So, it seems to me that given there is that dispute among those child care providers, the fairest way and the American way to resolve that dispute is through an election.”

Republicans have been anticipating the action for weeks and questioning Dayton’s authority to order such a vote. Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, repeated that charge after Dayton’s announcement. Hann, who chairs the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, also threatened a legal fight.

“If you have a governor who’s not willing to follow the law, then we have no choice but as a Legislature to go to an appropriate court and say you need to stop the governor from proceeding in this action because he is not warranted by law to do it,” Hann said.

MPR’s Tom Scheck contributed to this report.

  • Jennifer Bestgen

    This is not a fair vote – or an “American” way — your words, Mr. Dayton. If you want a fair, American way vote, let all 11,000 licensed childcare providers speak, not just a chosen few. That would be a fair election, Mr. Governor!!!! . Mark my words, Governor, we – all non voting licensed childcare providers – will remember this at the next election.

  • Henritta

    I say NO to union.

  • Colleen

    I say NO to union

  • Mary

    Say NO to union.

  • Duane Mulholland

    Mr. Governor, there is nothing “fair” or “American” about allowing these national unions to control our small businesses! Taking a vote from the minority who already want the union is wrong. Stating that the business owners who do not wish to take part in the union, will not have to pay dues is a lie. I noticed Mr. Governor, you made no mention of Fair Share Dues. The union has taken these dues from non-members in all the other states where the Governors signed them into power via an Executive order!

    Why do we need a vote at all? If you believe in unions for your small business, than join one and leave the rest of us alone!

  • Monica

    How is this election fair when only providers that have children on state subsidies get to vote? All licensed child care providers in the state should have the right to vote! I do not believe for one second that we wouldn’t be required to pay dues!! Look what has happened in the other states. Parents paying child care should be very concerned because they will see higher child care costs if providers are paying dues!! I say NO to the unionization of licensed family child care providers.

  • Tom Copeland

    In all the states that have child care unions, no one is required to join a union. In no state are child care providers required to pay union dues.

  • Duane Mulholland

    Mr. Copeland, I see you have chosen your words just as carefully as the Governor. Yes in those other states non-union members pay no union dues; however, you fail to mention the fair share dues that non-members are forced to pay. Tom it is no secret that you work for the union, it’s just a shame you are beginning to speak just as deceptively as them now.

  • Lori

    Honestly, all of you that don’t want a union vote are hypocrites. A vote is the most pure form of democracy. It seems to me that you should be glad that only those who take government subsidies (therefore, by its very nature already accepting “government intrusion” into your business) are voting on the potential of a union. They are directly affected by government rules and regulations and rightly, should have a say at the table. To me it makes perfect sense to limit the vote to just those smaller subset. . Those who do not accept government subsidies have already made a statement that they want less government involvement so should be happy they are not being forced to vote for a union. Why are you so scared of a democratic vote?

  • Duane Mulholland

    Lori, a vote by the minority that will control the future for the majority is democratic? What country are you from? These unions plan to force all 11,000 providers to pay dues or fair-share fees, so why shouldn’t all MN providers get to decide their own fate.

    Just so we are clear, everyone should know, the union did not want a vote because they could not get majority support. Fortunately the union has a friend in Governor Dayton who agreed to allow them to finance this vote, as well as, allow the American Arbitration Association to oversee the voting process.

    As to the statement about feeling “scared” of a democratic vote, the unions and Dayton are the one’s who are scared to allow all 11,000 providers vote.