Minnesota Election Details
The Bureau of Mediation Services ordered a union election for Minnesota's child care providers. This election includes both licensed and unlicensed providers who are currently caring for children on Child Care Assistance. While there are approximately 9,500 licensed family child care providers in Minnesota who will be impacted by union negotiations, only 2,384 ballots will be mailed. Thereby excluding over two thirds of the licensed providers in Minnesota. Ballots will be mailed on Monday, February 8th and must be in the office of the BMS by Monday, February 29th.
You have a voice. Use it while you can by returning your ballot!
In nearly every state a child care union election has taken place, the union has only won because the majority of eligible providers didn't participate. In Illinois, only 28% of those who received ballots voted yes. In Maryland, only 23% voted yes and in Michigan, fewer than 15% cast ballots in favor of unionization. Don't let someone else decide who will represent and speak for you!
While these continued attempts to unionize can feel defeating, there is hope. In Vermont, the child care providers stood together, sent their ballots in and voted no. They won the union election and are still union free to this day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will I get a ballot?
A: Only providers who currently care for a child on CCAP are eligible to receive a ballot.
Q: How much will unionization cost?
A: Dues for MN providers have not been set yet, but in other states, child care providers pay anywhere from $300 - $900 per year.
Q: What if I choose not to vote?
A: Only ballots returned are counted so if you choose not to vote, others will decide for you.
Q: Will unionization benefit me?
A: As a small business owner, you are the only one who can set your rates and hours, choose your clients and decide which benefits you receive through your contract with parents. A union cannot do these things for you so this union will only bargain on matters the 2013 child care legislation gave them the authority to bargain on, like CCAP.
Q: Will unionization qualify me for state employees benefits?
A: No. The bill reclassified providers as employees of the state for the sole purpose of unionization. You will not be eligible to receive benefits a state employee receives.
Q: If I don't want to be a member, can I opt out?
A: You can opt out of union membership (although this has proved to be difficult in other states) but you cannot opt out of union representation. If the union wins, it will exclusively represent all child care providers caring for a child on CCAP, even those who voted no, even those who are not members. Any issues the union will negotiate on behind closed doors will impact all 9,500 providers.
Q: Why are licensed and unlicensed providers being grouped together?
A: Unfortunately, this was a choice the legislature made against the advice of many advocates and organizations in the provider community. This arrangement gives unlicensed caregivers power to influence licensing rules and regulations while silencing non-union providers who will inevitably be impacted by the outcome.
Q: If we don't like the union, can we just vote them out?
A: In order to remove an ineffective union, providers would have to collect 30% of the signatures in the bargaining unit and petition for a decertification election. Since we don't have professional recruiters dedicated to door knocking like the union does, it would be nearly impossible to collect the necessary signatures to start such a process.