Concerns over union daycare push

Dear Neighbors,

I share the strong concerns many local residents are expressing over Governor Dayton’s Executive Order 11-31, calling for a vote to unionize Minnesota’s private, independent, at-home childcare providers.

The push to unionize childcare is part of a national strategy by unions to increase their own power, and is not driven by childcare providers themselves. Childcare providers are already represented at the Capitol by the Minnesota Licensed Family Childcare Association.

There are plenty of reasons to oppose the governor’s executive order. For starters, unionization will likely increase daycare costs at a time when families can least afford it. It will also allow unions to decide what’s best for children instead of keeping those decisions where they belong, with parents. The early years of life are extremely important and childcare is a personal decision that should be based on what parents decide is best for their children.

The unscrupulous manner in which this vote will take place sends a shrill warning signal. There are approximately 11,000 daycare providers in Minnesota, but fewer than 4,300 will be allowed to cast a vote on this issue between December 7-20. The other 7,000 or so, who do not receive state subsidy payments, will be denied a vote even though they will be directly impacted if a union is formed. The American thing to do is to let all 11,000 have a voice in this matter.

We should take note of what other states have learned the hard way. In Illinois, childcare rates jumped as much as 35 percent since the first year of its contract in 2006. In Michigan, daycare providers are now classified as public employees after they unionized. This directly conflicts with our need to get a grip on state spending as we face continual budget shortfalls and work to put our state on a more sustainable fiscal path.

Please contact the governor at 800-657-3717 to voice your opinion on this issue. For additional information please visit www.childcareunioninfo.com and www.childcarefreedom.com. Also, I encourage you to attend the Childcare Freedom Rally from noon to 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 3, in the state Capitol rotunda.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with your comments or concerns.

Sincerely yours,

Pam