Perhaps it's the cold, damp spring that's befuddled members of Minnesota's senate minority caucus, but from Senator Dave Brown (R-Becker) thinking taxes on booze were raised last month to Minority Leader Hann thinking that there hasn't been enough talk about same sex marriage, confusion is rising higher than the drizzled-stunted corn.
The most recent example? In the Redwood Falls Gazette, editor Troy Krause reports in Legislators host town hall meeting in Morgan, Minnesota:
Everything from bullying to daycare unions was discussed this past Friday afternoon at the Lions Club community center in Morgan when District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms and District 16B Rep. Paul Torkelson held the first of several town hall meetings in the district. . . .
Dahms shared this dire thought about the union organizing:
. . . Another topic was the creation of a daycare union, and according to Dahms and Torkelson a vote is going to be taking place soon that would impact those daycare providers who utilize the childcare assistance program.
The issue, said Dahms, is the majority of daycare providers in the state do not want to join a union, especially those who are the only employee of their daycare business.
What is concerning, said Dahms, is it only takes a 30 percent approval vote of those eligible voters who cast a ballot to determine whether or not a union could be established for daycare providers.
Well, not really.
AFSCME's organizing website's page of FAQs notes the next steps in the drive:
What is the first step for Child Care Providers Together/AFSCME Council 5?
Child Care Providers Together (CCPT)/AFSCME Council 5 organizers will visit with child care providers across Minnesota. Providers interested in having a collective strong voice will be asked to sign a union membership card. Once 500 cards are signed they will be sent to the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) to be verified. Once verified, the Commissioner of Human Services will provide CCPT/AFSCME Council 5 with the most recent list of eligible voters. . . .
What is the next step for Child Care Providers Together/AFSCME Council 5?
CCPT/AFSCME Council 5 organizers will continue to visit with eligible providers across Minnesota. When 30 percent of signed union authorization cards are collected, they will file a petition for an election with the BMS. The cards collected during this time period will be valid for six months.
So the union will have six month to petition for an election after thirty percent of those eligible to form a union sign authorization cards. A majority must then vote for union representation--that's fifty percent + one--or there won't be a union. Thirty percent does not equal fifty-percent + one.
But you don't have to trust me on that or take the union's word for it. Here's what the group of daycare providers opposed to the union says about the process:
Step 1: AFSCME/CCPT will collect 500 cards and present them to the state.
Step 2: The state will give AFSCME a list of all eligible voters. To be an eligible voter you must have had a current CCAP registration in the last 12 months. YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE ACCEPTED A CCAP PAYMENT. They need to get 30 % of the providers on the list to sign cards and that would spur an election. The cards expire after 6 months and only valid cards will be counted.
Step 3: Ballots will be mailed out to all eligible voters and they usually need to be returned within 2-3 weeks. Only ballots returned are counted so, if only 100 providers send ballots back and 51 are for the union, the union wins. It is imperative that you do not sign any card unless you wish to belong to the union. It is also imperative that you send back your ballot if you are an eligible voter.
There will be an election IF 30 percent of the providers on the list sign cards, but there won't be a union unless 50 percent plus one returning cards vote yes. There's nothing unusual with the 30 percent threshold for a petition for a union election--but an election isn't a guarantee that the union will win the vote.
It could--and Dahms' opponent in an election could defeat him. But 30 percent won't do anything other than triggering the contest. If Dahms truly believes that "the majority of daycare providers in the state do not want to join a union," we have to wonder what he's afraid of.
Photo: Anti-union Grumpy Cat Senator Gary Dahms at the Morgan Townhall. via Redwood Falls Gazette.
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