The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity is calling on the State Labor Relations Board to revise the proposed language on the ballot in the upcoming election that will determine whether or not upward of 580 private contractors – that provide child care services in their home to clients who receive state-subsidized assistance – will become unionized.
The Center recommends a simple revision that more clearly defines the reality of the the options that these childcare providers are being forced to consider. Per a recent report in the Providence Journal, the ballot question currently reads: ‘Do you desire to be represented for the purpose of collective bargaining by Service Employees International Union, District 1199, NE or by no provider representative.”
This language is devoid of the word ‘exclusively’, and, therefore, does not appropriately highlight an important provision that child care providers should be made aware of; that such representation would be exclusive to SEIU, and that by voting to unionize, providers will be forced to petition their state government through an involuntary association. As previously argued by the Center, this may be in violation of their constitutional right to freedom of association.
The Center recommends that the ballot language should be revised to read: ‘Do you desire to be represented for the purpose of collective bargaining exclusively by Service Employees International Union, District 1199, NE or by no provider representative.’
“Many providers, who today proudly call themselves independent business owners, free to make their own decisions about how best to operate their business, are concerned that, after the election, they may be involuntarily reduced to the status of unionized state employees, subject to the agenda of national and international unions, forced to pay dues, and forced to be represented exclusively by the state’s hand-picked monopoly union”, said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the Center.
Following remarks this past weekend (@ 9:00 minute mark) on WPRI-12’s Executive Suite by AFL-CIO union boss, George Nee, the Center is also concerned that the child care unionization effort is a ‘Trojan Horse’ and just the first of of many planned steps of organized labor where other independent contractors and small business owners across the state will soon also be forced to unionize (e.g., child care centers, home health care providers, landlords), providing even more financial and political clout to unions, and creating a further drag on the state’s already stagnant job market and bloated budget.
Related Links: Unionization of Child Care Providers May Be Unconstituional