Union issue isn't government's responcibility | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Union issue isn't government's responcibility

Posted: December 6, 2011 - 9:28pm

On the issue of unionizing licensed family child care providers, it’s not so much whether a branch of state government exceeded its authority, but whether it’s a government issue at all.

Since when did organizing a union become the responsibility of our government?

Gov. Mark Dayton earlier this fall issued an executive order organizing a statewide vote of in-home licensed care providers on whether to join one of two unions, the AFSCME or the SEIU. Both had been attempting for several years to unionize child care providers who receive state money for subsidized child care.

On Monday, a Ramsey County judge blocked the vote, saying the issue rightfully belongs in the state Legislature. Senate Republican leaders had filed a brief in support of the providers seeking to block the vote, arguing Gov. Dayton has exceeded his authority in issuing the order. Dayton and other DFLers shot back that other executive orders, such as the one that streamlined permitting processes in the state, had far more reach and were not opposed by GOP leadership.

It’s much more simple than that. There’s no reason for the government to be involved in union organization in any industry.

In the past, if a particular company’s employees or a particular type of employee across a number of companies wanted to organize, they invited in a union to make a pitch. Cards expressing interest were distributed, and if enough were signed, a vote was held.

No government needed.

There may be benefits to unionizing the child care industry. But then again, there are plenty of arguments for why unionization could be a problem, too.

But that debate doesn’t belong in the governor’s office nor on the floor of the Legislature. It belongs among the providers and the unions.

— Faribault Daily News