Don’t be surprised to see your neighborhood day-care provider wearing a union tee-shirt the next time you drop your children off for the day.
The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday under which every private-sector family child-care provider receiving public funds to provide service to low-income or at-risk children would be declared a “public” or “state” employee. These new “public employees” would then be subject to a “card check” system and be “represented” by a single labor union.
Yesterday’s 117-32 vote came several weeks after legislators effectively killed a similar measure aimed at institutional child-care facilities.
AIM opposed both measures because they benefit unions rather than children. The proposals represent a clear and unprecedented intrusion by government into private business.
The bill says it would move private-sector employees into a collective bargaining unit for the following stated purposes:
- Develop and encourage education and training opportunities for family child care providers;
- Improve the recruitment and retention of qualified providers;
- Reimbursement and payment procedures;
- The rate structure for family child care providers;
- The rate structure for voucher and contracted payments for family child care services on behalf of low-income and other at risk children.
These duties are already the responsibility of state government, either the Department of Early Education and Care or the legislature. There is no need to create a “public employee” union to address the issues enumerated in the bill.
AIM is not anti-union. And we have been strong and visible supporters of efforts to improve early education opportunities in Massachusetts.
But this bill lacks logic and does nothing to advance the interest of children.