Senate Democrats Pass Bill to Unionize Family-Member Child Care

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Senate Democrats today passed Assembly Bill 101, a bill to unionize California’s child care industry.  Not only does the bill empower family-member child care providers to organize and collectively bargain with other family members who receive state child care subsidies, the unionizing process can be started simply by filing a “card-check” type petition, without the benefit of a proper secret ballot election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board.

 AB101 also authorizes several state agencies, including the Departments of Education, Social Services, and Industrial Relations, to supervise and monitor the new child care labor agreements.

“Family members don’t need union bosses telling them how to care for their own relatives,” said Senator Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale).  “As lawmakers, we need to be figuring out how to get out of the way of employers and employees, not dreaming up new schemes and new bureaucratic workloads.”

Union dues for the newly organized child care workers will be paid out of funds set aside for state child care subsidies, money that’s supposed to encourage low-income families to work instead of relying on welfare.

 “Make no mistake about it, this bill will ultimately increase the cost of child care for working families, especially low-income families, who rely on child care subsidies to make ends meet,” said Senator Tom Harman (R-Huntington Beach).   “Siphoning off those subsidies to pay union dues is not going to help struggling families. Democrats talk the talk about creating jobs, but here’s another bill that’s going to make it more difficult and more expensive for people to go to work.”  

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