After a total of 27 hours of heated debate among Senate and House members, day care workers will be able to unionize in Minnesota. A day care provider and opponent of this bill Hollee Saville and Lisa Thompson, a day care provider who supports the bill both joined us on FOX at 9 to discuss both sides of the argument.
Jeff Passolt: "Hollee, you're against this bill, but supporters point out it only means you and other day care providers can now vote on whether to join a union, let the people decide, isn't that a good thing?"
Hollee Sayville: "Well actually I will not be getting a vote because i do not currently have any children who receive child care assistance in my childcare. So I would be excluded from this vote this vote would exclude approximately sixty percent of licensed family child care providers from deciding something that will affect our profession because all child care providers whether they accept child care assistance or not follow the same licensing regulations and the unions have said that they will petition the government to make changes to training licenses rules, grievances as well as the C-CAP program and legislators already have the ability to raise that right, right now."
Jeff Passolt: Lisa, a lot of parents at home right now care about one thing. Does this mean I'm going to be paying more? What does this bill do for cost and care?
Lisa Thompson: ""Well as contradictory as it sounds this bill is really going to help us child care providers control the cost of care., the standards have been raised over the last ten years significantly and the quality of care in our state is really high and this opportunity will allow us the opportunity to get a handle on the costs."
Jeff Passolt: "I also want to ask you about what at least one person in favor of this bill after it passed. She said, it means we can ask daycare providers to join, but we won't force you to join. Can you assure people of that?
Lisa Thompson "Absolutely this is Minnesota no one is forced to join a union in Minnesota."
Hollee Sayville: "Oh, I respectfully disagree. The bill specifically says that providers, who receive or accept children on assistance, will be forced to pay in the form of union dues or fair share fees. They will not have a choice on that respect."
Jeff Passolt: "Is it one way or the other?"
Lisa Thompson: "well I am really not a law expert that's in a territory I'm not an expert on but what I do know is that union membership in Minnesota is voluntary."
Hollee Sayville: "But union representation is not and Minnesota is a fair share state and in Minnesota you'd be required to pay up to 80 percent of fair share fees and in all the other 16 states that unionize family child care providers--all the ones that are fair share states have charged providers fair share fees even though they may not want to pay the Union."
Jeff Passolt: "Hollee you don't want to opt out of this? .
Hollee Sayville: "If you are registered to accept children on assistance and a majority of ballots cast vote yes to unionize then yes every provider who accepts children on assistance will be forced to pay the union in their form of union dues if they choose to be a member or fair share fees. That is not a choice."
Jeff Passolt: "Ok so Lisa what is this going to do to improve daycare overall for people?"
Lisa Thompson: "Well we've seen how much having a union improves an industry in occupations like nurses and teachers by us having the opportunity to join together on issues we have the opportunity to. If childcare providers across the state decide this is what we you know we'll have a chance to vote on this and decide what it is that we as a group want to do together.
Jeff Passolt: "As we heard earlier form a daycare provider that it enhances her career do you agree with that Lisa?"
Lisa Thompson: "Absolutely this is going to raise the level of professionalism especially in female dominated professions and businesses."
Jeff Passolt: "Hollee you get the final word."
Hollee Sayville: "I absolutely disagree I'm an independent small business owner and if i want my program to be quality it's my choice whether or not AI want to do that and a union cannot possibly offer me anything that I cannot do myself I already have a voice and we are awesome providers already and the union is just going to take more money up 300 dollars a year is the minimum, in Illinois it's 900 dollars a year in New York it's up to 700 --Providers are already struggling and it's going to give limited access to families who have children on assistance."