There has been a lot of confusion surrounding Family Childcare providers and the Executive Order that Governor Malloy filed on September 21, 2011. This confusion has recently been confounded by news that Family Childcare Providers voted 1603-88 to join the SEIU union. It is my hope to shed some light on what is currently happening and where things could go from here.
The Executive Order that Governor Malloy filed on September 21st allows for a majority representative to meet and confer with representatives from the Department of Social Services on improving the quality and accessibility of family childcare services for parents and children who participate in the Care4Kids program. The vote that was just conducted, of Family Childcare providers who participate in the Care4Kids program, was actually a vote to elect SEIU as the majority representative.
As majority representative, the SEIU will now need to convene a meeting of Family Childcare providers in order to elect a representative body. This elected body will then partner with SEIU staff in meetings with the Department of Social Services to discuss such issues as the quality and availability of family childcare in the state, improving the recruitment and retention of qualified family childcare providers, standards for family childcare provider compensation, procedures for the state payment of grants to family childcare providers under the Care4Kids program, and training, professional development and other opportunities and requirements for family childcare providers.
At the same time that this process is unfolding, the Governor's Executive Order also established a work group on how best to structure collective bargaining rights and the relationship for the majority representative. This Family Childcare workgroup is charged with submitting a report on findings and recommendations to the Governor by February 1, 2012. It is unclear if the work group will meet this scheduled deadline. The work group could recommend a path to collective bargaining OR recommend against a path to collective bargaining.
So at this point in time, SEIU will not be collecting dues. They would only collect dues after collective bargaining is granted, which would take not only a recommendation of the Governor's workgroup but also legislation. If legislation is passed, SEIU has stated that they would not seek dues until a contract was negotiated for Family Childcare providers.
We will continue to monitor this process and will keep you updated on any and all happenings.