Minnesota In-home Day Care Centers May be Joining the Union

By KBJR News 1

February 26, 2013 Updated Feb 26, 2013 at 7:24 PM CDT


The bill to potentially unionize in home daycare workers is back on the table after being shot down in 2012.

The Childcare Collective Bargaining Act was introduced in the Senate today.

Governor Mark Dayton's executive order calling for a union election in 2011 was ultimately declared unconstitutional.

The Governor's initial order superseded the typical legislation process by forcing a union election vote. The current bill would only call for a union vote if passed.

With the change from a Republican to a Democratic house the bill is gaining momentum.

Thousands of Minnesota families are dependant on private daycares to watch their children.

Some lawmakers say at home workers are largely underpaid for the services they provide.

"They're really dedicated professionals, a lot of them are well educated and they actually have a curriculum for the children and they are doing an important service...
Taking care of children while parents have to work and they're just terribly underpaid," says Senator Sandy Pappas.

Some daycare workers are still opposed to the bill and have no desire to become unionized.

Bill Irving owner of Observation Hill Children's Center has researched the topic.

He, like some private care workers', feels unions are no longer the effective advocacy machines they used to be.
Many he says are in fact "self–serving."

The Collective Bargaining Act will attempt to remedy several chilcare issues.

Yes, half of Minnesota's children are not prepared for kindergarten.
Many are living in poverty and have poor nutrition.

The goal is to provide the 9,000 in–home care providers in Minnesota with training in things like proper nutrition as well as give the workers a more direct line to the government to ensure better care overall.

If 30% percent of home daycare workers sign union authorization cards there will be a union election.

16 other states already have unionized daycare.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware