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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Dayton on fence about Minn. child care union push

  • Last winter, Dayton tried to use executive authority to call a union election for about 11,000 providers.
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  •  After being blocked in court, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he hasn't decided whether to ask the reconfigured Legislature to permit a unionization drive by home-based child care providers.
    Dayton said that he has yet to have a discussion with advisers about rewriting labor law. "I just haven't really given it any thought," Dayton told reporters. "I don't know."
    Democrats won majorities in both legislative chambers, providing a friendlier environment for organized labor.
    Last winter, Dayton tried to use executive authority to call a union election for about 11,000 providers. A judge ruled that Dayton lacked the power within existing law to order the unionization vote by child care providers. Republicans were in power in the Legislature at the time so Dayton made no effort to attempt a law change then.
    The union that was the driving force behind last year's push is "examining our options," said Jennifer Munt, spokeswoman for a Minnesota arm of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees.
    "We will support legislation to improve the quality and affordability of child care for working families and to lift the child care profession with better training," she said.

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