1-28-14 – Unionizing Child Care Workers

by John McClaughry

The big liberal push in Montpelier this year appears to be a bill – S.316 – to allow independent home based child care workers to form a unit to collectively bargain with the state for increased state support payments.

The bill states the fiction that the child care workers are state employees, which they are absolutely not, but only for the purpose of organizing and bargaining with the state.

If this bill passes, a union – probably the Vermont State Employees Association – is likely to do the bargaining.

What if the state doesn’t agree with, say, a 20% increase in child care subsidies? Will the union go out on strike? Will the real unionized state employees go out on strike to support them? I don’t think so.

If a home based child care provider – typically a small business entrepreneur – doesn’t want to join a union, he/she won’t be compelled to join. That’s nice. Of course, he/she will be forced to pay an agency fee amounting to 80 or 90 percent of the union dues, to compensate the union for looking out for his/her interests whether he/she wants it to or not. And the state will collect the fees and dues from the payment stream, so the union doesn’t have to go around and hit up its members for dues.

This bill snatches away yet more freedoms and imposes forced payments. It richly deserves to be scrapped.

John McClaughry is the founder and current vice-president of the Ethan Allen Institute.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joe January 28, 2014 at 8:26 pm

My wife runs a daycare out of are home. She has been approached several times about joining the union. They have come to our house at least 6 times to pressure in to joining. They came one time when I was home and we clearly stated that we don’t believe in unions and we do not support their quest. I wonder how many other people they have pestered ….


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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