Support women’s businesses, not male-dominated union
The unionization is not as simple as you present [in “New legislation would give home childcare providers option to unionize,” MSR, April 18]. It is sad that as a DFL member, my own party will not support my rights to be a small business owner, not an employee.
If you interviewed anyone against unionization, you didn’t reach those who are the main resource and ”push” behind the efforts to educate providers (see www.childcareunioninfo.webly.com). Some in our group have been working on this issue for seven-plus years, myself for over two years.
No one mentioned in your article [that the person quoted] against this effort is a Family Child Care Provider. The provider you featured, Mary Albert, is a provider who also received receives money from AFSCME to organize. All others mentioned who support this bill are AFSCME employees. Not an unbiased view.
The only issue they are focusing on to ”unionize” is the childcare subsidy program. This is a small portion of our industry. Families using CCAP come and go just as all other families do. We do not have control over when they call for admission, nor when they make a choice to leave.
As business owners, CCAP rules state that we are to charge our business rates and the families are expected to pay the difference. If there are increases in the program rates, our income won’t change, just the amount that the family owes us out of pocket. We cannot, by law, charge a higher rate for families using CCAP than private pay.
The only guarantee is that AFSCME will gain dues, fair-share dues and the ”power” to change a public-welfare program and licensing issues.
The legislation changes our employment status from small-business owners to ”employees of the State of Minnesota.” To make us State employees so that there can be a vote and a union is heavy handed at best, disrespectful at least.
Even if that wasn’t an issue, the legislation does not allow all those affected to vote. Only approximately one-third of all licensed providers will be allowed to vote, though all can conduct business with families using the Child Care Subsidy (CCAP) program.
Then it allows over half of the voting group to be non-licensed providers who have nothing at stake except a possibility of increased payments for the families.
Our state association is against the bill on the merits that the vote does not include all licensed providers who will be affected by any formed union. We already have a state association that is the change maker involved in addressing licensing issues. I am a member of the www.childcareunioninfo.com, a coalition that is the primary opposition to the bill.
The only clear beneficiary in this process is the union — AFSCME will gain approximately $2.5 million per year if providers are only charged at the fair-share rate. We lose income, not gain. We cannot make additional charges to the family to recoup that loss.
Those of us involved with state and county associations will lose our voices as the union will have exclusive voice with DHS [State Department of Human Services]. I would hope that you could support independent women’s businesses rather than male-dominated unions. All not ok.