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Child Care Unions Face Strong Opposition [AUDIO]

Day Care
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ST. CLOUD — After a long-spirited debate in the State Senate and a razor-thin vote in the House, day care and home care providers can now unionize in Minnesota. However, this news isn’t being met with great celebration by everyone within the industry.

AFSCME will need to turn in 500 signatures from providers to the state. They will then need 30% of providers to sign cards to bring it to a vote. After that, a majority of returned ballots that favor unionization is needed.

Hollee Saville is a day care provider in St. Michael. She says prices will increase, which will hurt everyone.

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Under the legislation, only providers who receive Child Care Assistance Program reimbursements, or CCAP, will be required to pay dues or fair share fees. Saville says providers will begin to turn families away to avoid union membership.

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A poll taken by the Minnesota Licensed Child Care Association shows overwhelming opposition to the bill. According to the poll, over 86% of providers say they do not support forming a union.

That same poll shows just 22% would continue to accept CCAP families, while 37% said they would stop service with nearly 41% of respondents uncertain.

Although the bill states only those that accept CCAP families would be unionized, there are fears among providers that membership will spread to everyone. Saville contends unions have nothing to offer her business.

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Critics claim this legislation is unconstitutional on the basis that providers are employers, not employees. Saville says there is a group of child care providers who are gathering to mount a legal challenge to the bill.

There are 11,000 licensed child care providers in the state of Minnesota. At least 15 other states in the country have similar union bills.

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