Unionizing childcare has broader implications than presented



Support women’s businesses, not male-dominated union 



Letter to the editorThe unionization is not as simple as you present [in “New legislation would give home childcare providers option to unionize,” MSR, April 18]. It is sad that as a DFL member, my own party will not support my rights to be a small business owner, not an employee.

If you interviewed anyone against unionization, you didn’t reach those who are the main resource and ”push” behind the efforts to educate providers (see www.childcareunioninfo.webly.com). Some in our group have been working on this issue for seven-plus years, myself for over two years.

No one mentioned in your article [that the person quoted] against this effort is a Family Child Care Provider. The provider you featured, Mary Albert, is a provider who also received receives money from AFSCME to organize. All others mentioned who support this bill are AFSCME employees. Not an unbiased view.

The only issue they are focusing on to ”unionize” is the childcare subsidy program. This is a small portion of our industry. Families using CCAP come and go just as all other families do. We do not have control over when they call for admission, nor when they make a choice to leave.

As business owners, CCAP rules state that we are to charge our business rates and the families are expected to pay the difference. If there are increases in the program rates, our income won’t change, just the amount that the family owes us out of pocket. We cannot, by law, charge a higher rate for families using CCAP than private pay.

The only guarantee is that AFSCME will gain dues, fair-share dues and the ”power” to change a public-welfare program and licensing issues.

The legislation changes our employment status from small-business owners to ”employees of the State of Minnesota.” To make us State employees so that there can be a vote and a union is heavy handed at best, disrespectful at least.

Even if that wasn’t an issue, the legislation does not allow all those affected to vote. Only approximately one-third of all licensed providers will be allowed to vote, though all can conduct business with families using the Child Care Subsidy (CCAP) program.

Then it allows over half of the voting group to be non-licensed providers who have nothing at stake except a possibility of increased payments for the families.

Our state association is against the bill on the merits that the vote does not include all licensed providers who will be affected by any formed union. We already have a state association that is the change maker involved in addressing licensing issues. I am a member of the www.childcareunioninfo.com, a coalition that is the primary opposition to the bill.

The only clear beneficiary in this process is the union — AFSCME will gain approximately $2.5 million per year if providers are only charged at the fair-share rate. We lose income, not gain. We cannot make additional charges to the family to recoup that loss.

Those of us involved with state and county associations will lose our voices as the union will have exclusive voice with DHS [State Department of Human Services]. I would hope that you could support independent women’s businesses rather than male-dominated unions. All not ok.


Cyndi Cunningham 

St. Paul 






4 Comments on “Unionizing childcare has broader implications than presented”

  1. Bravo, Cyndi! What an amazing letter with well-thought-out comments, ideas and facts to back up what you’re saying.

    Kudos to you!

  2. Way too much incorrect information here. Shame on the Recorder for even publishing this without checking.
    Unions were male- dominated 50 years ago, but so was the work place. That is not the case any longer.

    AFSCME is a female-dominated union. I know! I am a proud member!

    As a matter of fact most industries that still have strong unions are female dominated – teachers, nurses, offices.
    It is this kind of twisting that is taking over the country and returning us to the “haves” and the “have-nots.” It’s this kind of lies, mis-characterizations, and twisted & exaggerated “facts” that will be the demise of our country.
    Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann… This writer is in popular company! This writer says she is Democrat? Take a look at the company that your “facts” are keeping. You sound just like them.

    Might do well to come off your high horse and open your eyes to see what is really happening around you in the world.

    Bravo for a new labor movement!

    1. Lynette, do you know why the labor movement is fading? What AFSMCE is doing (lying and deceiving child care business owners) is blatant fraud. That’s one big reason why the labor movement is fading. If you can’t get people signed up for your unions in a fair and honest manner, then what are you trying to prove?

      Can you point out even one little itty bitty point in the article that is incorrect? No, all you do is ramble and run your mouth about right-wing entertainers. They have nothing to do with this.

    2. Seriously Lynette??? A side from the male dominated comment, Cyndi is spot on… I know it goes agaist your morning kool-aid.

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