On September 14, 2012 Governor Patrick signed H3986 into law. This bill was described as “An Act Relative to Early Education and Care by Family Child Care Providers.”
This bill created a bargaining unit of approximately 4,000 child care providers who care for families receiving state child care assistance.
Not everyone was happy about this legislation. Democratic Representative John Skibak noted that the legislation seems to have divided the providers in his statements below.
“Everyone wants quality. Everyone wants an inclusive system,” said Rep. John Scibak (D-South Hadley), co-chair of the Public Service Committee. “I am concerned that this legislation has driven a wedge within the field and among providers that I’m not sure is necessarily a good thing in terms of quality and access.”
The providers in Massachusetts were denied the right to a secret ballot election. SEIU is now their exclusive representative.
This legislation follows a failed ballot initiative that would have unionized providers in 2006 that was rejected by voters.
The union reached a contract with the state in late 2013. It included no health insurance, no pension or retirement plan and an increase in child care assistance reimbursement rates of 4% in 2013, 3% in 2014 and 3% in 2015. However, these increases are subject to funding from the state legislature which appears to not yet been allocated or approved. Until the legislature provides this funding, there will be no increase. The union of course hammered out the details to siphon dues from the assistance program with all providers, member or not, paying dues or fees.
Childcare providers who chose to be a member will pay full dues. If a provider objects they may opt out and pay an agency fee. However; if a provider does not choose to be a member or formally opt out, the provider will pay a fee equal to the full amount of dues.
The contract: http://www.seiu509.org/files/2014/01/Family-Child-Care-Contract-ENG-1214.pdf
Governor indicates he will petition the legislature to fund increases in child care assistance reimbursement rates back dating to July 2013
Dues: To be determined
Fair Share: Yes
Health Insurance: No
On Wednesday, April 16th, the National Right to Work, Legal Defense Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of six child care providers from Massachussettes. This is a First Amendment legal challenge nearly identical to the challenges in Michigan, Minnesota and very similar to the Harris V Quinn case filed on behalf of Personal Care Assistants (PCAs). Click here to view the lawsuit.
June 30, 2013 Boston.com Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Mass. Home Care Workers