Just two days before ballots were set to go out, a Ramsey County Judge has halted the upcoming election on child care unionization by issuing a temporary restraining order. Ramsey County Judge Lindman said the matter should go through the legislature instead. He also said the election was “very harmful to all of the parties involved.”
Minnesota child care providers who were against the proposed unionization were pleased with the ruling.
“I’m jumping for joy. I’m so excited I’m thinking about letting my kids skip nap time!” said Hollee Saville, a provider from St. Michael and participant in the lawsuit.
Opponents of the upcoming election that would unionize nearly 4,300 in-home child care providers argued Monday to temporarily restrain the vote. Ballots were scheduled to reach mailboxes this week.
“I am thrilled this vote is not going to take place,” said Jennifer Parrish, a Rochester provider who founded the Coalition of Family Childcare Providers. “This certainly isn’t the end-all and we have a lot of work ahead of us. But I’m glad a vote like this isn’t going to take place where just a third of the childcare providers get a ballot.”
Only child care providers that are eligible for child care subsidies would have been allowed to vote under the executive order issued by Governor Dayton. The judge also raised concern that only 4,300 of the more than 11,000 child care providers would be eligible to vote.
“Our next move is to make sure our legislators understand this shouldn’t happen and that small business shouldn’t be forced under the umbrella of union representation if they feel it won’t benefit their businesses,” Parrish added.
In Thursday’s Senate Rules and Administration Committee, the state Senate filed a “friend of the court” brief in support of the lawsuit to suspend the vote on the basis of the executive order that many deem outside the governor’s powers.
Judge Lindman set a hearing on the injunction for January 16th.
“It means we have more time to educate providers and get the truth out,” Hollee said. “It gives me hope. We’re small business owners and I keep telling people, who’s next?”