In 2007, Governor O'Malley issued an Executive Order calling for a vote among licensed and unlicensed child care providers caring for children on the state's child care assistance program. This order was written after attempts to unionize via the legislature failed. These measures were fought by child care providers who testified against the measure. Governor O'Malley bypassed the legislature and ordered the election to take place anyway.
Of the 10,560 registered providers in Maryland at the time, O'Malley's Executive Order limited the election to 5,818 providers. Roughly 45% of licensed child care professionals were excluded from the vote. Of those 5,818 eligible voters, fewer than 1,700 returned ballots. When votes were tallied, SEIU received only 1,357 votes. The union, however, represents all providers on the subsidy program, whether they voted or even if they voted.
The Maryland Family Child Care Association, which has effectively represented child care providers for many years, filed a lawsuit challenging the Governor's authority and the process by which he ordered a vote. A temporary restraining order was issued putting the order on hold. This was eventually overturned and the union is now in place.
While providers were initially successful in blocking "fair share fees" for those who choose not to be members, that has since been changed and now all those in the bargaining unit (represented by the union) are required to pay a fee.
The union negotiated an minimal increase in subsidy rates of only 3% but providers there have not seen any health insurance.
A year and a half after unionizing, only about 1,000 providers had chosen to join the union. That means over 4,000 providers were exclusively represented by a union they did not want to join.
Fair Share: Yes
Health Insurance: NO
Contract: Yes; active