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Malloy Keeps Promise To Unions By Signing Two Executive Orders

by Christine Stuart | Sep 21, 2011 5:11pm
(4) Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Education, Health Care, Labor

It was just last week that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asked labor leaders not to question his commitment to labor. Today he signed two executive orders that provide a path for state child care workers and personal care attendants to organize and gain collective bargaining rights.

The executive orders establish working groups that will report to the governor by February on how best to establish collective bargaining rights for the two groups. Legislation earlier this year attempted to allow for similar rights to be given to personal care attendants, PCA’s, but the legislation never made it out of committee. And some lawmakers have been talking about finding ways to organize child care workers, but that legislation died on the Senate calendar.

“I have said repeatedly that I believe in the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain, and personal care attendants and family child care providers are often-times the hardest-working, and lowest-paid workers in our job force,” Malloy said in a statement Wednesday.

Click here to read executive order no. 9 and here to read executive order no. 10.

The two executive orders, which were applauded by the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, SEIU, allow workers to immediately begin discussions with the head of the Department of Social Services about quality of life issues and “an eye toward establishing formal collective bargaining rights in the future.”

The Care 4 Kids program funds more than 4,000 child care workers in the state and provides child care to low and moderate income families. And the personal care attendants, PCA’s, take care of the elderly and disabled in their homes, which the executive order points out cost less money in the long term.

“It is important that those who care for both our youngest and oldest citizens receive equitable pay and workforce security,” Malloy said in a statement about the orders.

In both the home care and child care system, the lack of a focused recruitment, training, and retention strategy has created high turnover and made it difficult to find reliable care, a statement from the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, SEIU says. With providers united into organizations that can advocate for quality improvements, it will build a more stable, professional workforce that consumers can better rely on.

“We play a very important role in the development of the children we care for, which is to get them ready to learn,” Denise Gaston, a licensed child care provider with 30 years of experience, said in a statement from the union. “I’m thrilled that the Governor is helping us gain a voice to stand up for the quality, affordable child care that the parents I serve really need.”

The executive orders allows for the child care providers to form a nine member working group before Oct. 1, while the personal care attendants will form a similar seven member working group before Nov. 1.

Each group will report on its recommendations and findings to the governor no later than Feb. 1, 2012.

As far as the collective bargaining process and an election to join a is concerned, Malloy specified in the executive orders that card check will be required which means in order to agree to organize members won’t be allowed to cast secret ballots.

Opponents of card check say it makes it easier for the unions to intimidate workers into joining the union.

Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, pushed legislation to help child care workers organize earlier this year, but the legislation died on the Senate calendar.

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(4) Comments

posted by: Disgruntled | September 21, 2011  7:20pm

Dan believes in the rights of workers as long as they play by his rules!
He loves universal child care as well,but for many reasons,some of them having to do with Dan only.
Sorry. I do not buy his nonsense,but I suppose I get to pay for it!

posted by: ... | September 22, 2011  8:34am

...

Good work Governor. Being firm on your convictions for a more efficient govt. workforce while believing in the rights of the individuals who work for the state as well. Especially when health care is going to be one of our top industries (for a population with a rising average age) in the coming decades.

posted by: Matt W. | September 22, 2011  9:54am

Matt W.

Yeah this is brilliant. I spent $17,000 in childcare last year and my 2 kids go only 3 days per week.  So lets unionize the workers and double the cost so that my wife HAS to leave her job and stay at home.  This is top quality planning Dan! Brilliant!

posted by: Dempsey Dem | September 23, 2011  1:09pm

Once again, citizens are attacking the workers for the sins of the corporations.  Home Health aides earn around $11 or $12 an hour (Hardly a living wage in Ct.) while their agencies or employers are billing $50 to $100 per hour to the individual or insurer.

The only concession I would accept is one that allows for a secret unionizing vote rather than a signed card to avoid any sense of intimidation.