Union organization by “card check” lands on Governor’s desk

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, March 14, 2008 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

SB 867 (Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles) to unionize child care providers was sent to the Governor on March 11th. The bill authorizes family child care providers to form, join and participate in "provider organizations," for purposes of negotiating with state agencies.  Specifically, a union such as the State Employees International (SEIU), would be considered a "provider organization" and they would negotiate with the State on behalf of the child care providers. This bill will hurt California’s competitiveness and will increase labor costs for California childcare providers, thereby reducing the pool of money available for subsidized childcare for working parents. 

Furthermore, SB 867 sets a precedent for the use of "card check" as a method of unionization. "Card check" takes away an individual’s right to a private ballot when deciding whether or not to join a union by replacing the private ballot with a system that allows a union to organize if a majority of workers sign a card.  Union organizers oversee the process and the workers’ votes are made public to the employer and employees. Workers are better protected from interference and intimidation by casting their vote privately with a secret ballot.

Although the bill excludes negotiations for pay in the first year, subsequent contract negotiations would inappropriately limit the State's ability to determine reimbursement rates for subsidized child care. To the extent collective bargaining would drive up rates paid by the state, poor families with children would actually lose because fewer families could be served by the program. Also, if collective bargaining leads to higher rates for subsidized caregivers, that increase in rates might begin to drive the market, forcing up rates paid by families that are not eligible for state subsidies.

CMTA opposes this and any attempt to undermine the secret ballot process in California in any way. Express your opposition to SB 867 by asking Governor Schwarzenegger to veto this legislation.

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