fbpx

Latest Posts

Home

Facebook

Twitter

Search
About

Kim Crocket Letter to Star Tribune Re: Unionizing Child-Care Providers

Letter to the Editor:

The Star Tribune has done a great job covering the attempt by Gov. Dayton to help AFSCME unionize child-care providers (“Minnesota’s child-care providers say no to unionizing”, March 2, 2016).

I am writing because an otherwise good article reporting on AFSCME’s decisive loss on March 1st, had an odd conclusion and quote:

Aaron Sojourner, a labor economist with the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, said Tuesday’s loss for AFSCME stands in “stark contrast” to the home-care worker vote.

“This touches on some of the changes in the economy. You see more people seeing themselves as independent businesses,” he said. “We have fewer manufacturing workers and what we have more of is people providing care to one another — that’s health care, child care, Uber. … There’s this growing breakdown of this traditional employment and traditional union.”

The women who rejected joining AFSCME do not merely “see themselves as independent businesses.” They ARE independent businesses and fought long and hard against Gov. Dayton and the union to stay that way. This has nothing to do with “changes in the economy.” There was never any employer/employee relationship between these child-care providers and the state.

The only relationship is between low-income parents who get a subsidy from taxpayers to get help affording quality child care, and the state of MN that offers the subsidy. And that relationship was exploited by legislators in 2013 to pass a law allowing the unionization of these child-care providers.

It is important not to conflate these relationships. Otherwise, at least in theory, the state can extend “state employee” status to anyone who directly or indirectly gets a state subsidy; those “state employees” can then collectively bargaining over the subsidy they receive. Setting aside lots of other policy objections like unionizing private businesses, or the wisdom of allowing people to collectively bargain over the size of their subsidy, isn’t setting subsidy levels something legislators are supposed to do?

The Strib got it right earlier in the article:

Jennifer Parrish, a Rochester child-care provider and a leader of the Coalition of Union Free Providers, said the results of the vote weren’t surprising….”Family child-care providers are small business owners. … We set our own rates, we create our own working conditions — all the things that unions typically negotiate for, we determine for ourselves.”

The 2013 law that allowed these union “elections” is up for repeal this session. A repeal should pass in the House, though support in the Senate is in doubt. A repeal would free child-care providers to stop listening for a knock at the door from AFSCME.

Kim Crockett

March 9, 2016

Comments

Subscribe

Categories

Upcoming Events

  • Sen. Rudy Boschwitz Presents “Magnificent America”

    Location: Signatures 22852 County Road 17 Winona, MN 55987

    Please join Center of the American Experiment in Winona on Wednesday, September 18th for an evening with Sen. Rudy Boschwitz as he discusses “Magnificent America.” Rudy Boschwitz was born in Berlin, Germany in 1930. Rudy’s Dad came home the day Hitler came to power and told the family they would leave Germany forever. They settled in New Rochelle, New York. He came to Minnesota in September 1963, where he started Plywood Minnesota. Rudy ran successfully for the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1978-1991. Rudy was President George H. W. Bush’s Emissary to Ethiopia. His mission resulted in Operation Solomon,…

    Register Now
  • Morning in Minnesota Breakfast: Alexandria

    Location: Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis Northeast Alexandria, MN 56308

    Please join Center of the American Experiment on Wednesday, September 25th at the Alexandria Golf Club for breakfast with Center policy fellow and education expert, Catrin Wigfall, as she explains the Center’s “Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree” project. Following her presentation on workforce development issues, Catrin will be joined by a panel of local leaders to discuss how Alexandria can better attract and retain young talent. Wednesday, September 25, 2019 Alexandria Golf Club 2300 North Nokomis NE, Alexandria, MN 56308 8:00 AM Breakfast & Check-in 8:30 AM Presentation 9:30 AM Conclude Free, RSVP Here

    Register Now
  • Fall Briefing Featuring Kimberley Strassel

    Location: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts 345 Washington Street, St. Paul, MN 55102

    Purchase Tickets Here

    Register Now