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Day Care Workers Voting on CSEA/SEIU 2001 Representation

by | Dec 15, 2011 6:30am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Education, Labor

A group of about 4,100 child care providers who receive state funding through the Care 4 Kids program began voting last week to decide whether CSEA/SEIU 2001 will represent them in collectively bargaining for pay and benefits.

The vote comes as a result of one of two executive orders signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, clearing a path for the daycare providers and personal care attendants to collectively bargain.

CSEA/SEIU 2001 spokesman Matt O’Connor said ballots were mailed to all eligible providers in the state last week. Voting will conclude on Tuesday,  Dec. 20.

O’Connor said the goal is to eventually negotiate a contract with the state for the providers who typically operate out of their homes and serve low-income families under the Care 4 Kids program.

It is not clear yet how or when the union will begin talks with the state if it’s elected. Last week a working group convened by Malloy began its task of making recommendations on how best to structure a relationship between the state and whichever union the providers choose to represent them. Those recommendations aren’t due until February.

Still O’Connor said representation could help keep more people working in a field with a high turnover rate.

“There is a high demand for these type of services and too few providers serving families across Connecticut,” he said.

Lizavetta Galindo said she has been a child care provider for three years and voted for the union. Galindo said she hopes that CSEA/SEIU will be able to negotiate more reliable payments from the Care 4 Kids program.

Occasionally the program will reevaluate the income of a family receiving the benefits and decide they no longer qualify, she said. When that happens the daycare provider is not notified and can continue taking care of the child, unaware they may not be compensated by the state, she said.

Sometimes payments run more than a month behind schedule, leaving the provider unable to recoup over a month’s worth of services, she said. Galindo said she hoped a union could make sure that providers are paid every week or every other week.

“If we were paid bi-weekly or every week it would be a big, big change,” she said. “...So I we would lose one week instead of a whole month.”

Galindo said she hoped the union could eventually negotiate health care and education benefits for child care workers. She said she planned to pursue a master’s degree in psychology, which would help make her job easier.

“If you study psychology you can better understand the needs of the kids in your care,” she said.

But opponents of Malloy’s executive order like Sen. Joseph Markley, R- Southington, say the governor overstepped his authority by ordering something within the purview of the legislature. The General Assembly considered a similar bill to help child care workers organize earlier this year, but it died on the Senate calendar.

“Let’s work it out, that’s what the legislature exists for. Rushing forward by these executive orders is just not right. It’s not constitutionally right,” Markley said. “... If there was sufficient legislative hesitance in a Democratic legislature to going ahead with this proposition, it needs to be worked out.”

Markley said the order was a deal between the unions and the administration aimed at increasing union membership. He said the push for both the daycare workers and the personal care attendants to organize was being conducted in an under-handed way.

Like Markley, Rep. Robert Sampson, R- Wolcott, said the process was being rushed and people are not really aware it is happening. He said that every time he has spoken to someone who has signed a union authorization card for SEIU, that person was not aware of what the document was.

“At some point, maybe Dec. 20, people are going to wake up and they are going to be members of SEIU,” he said.

Sampson said he was under the impression that there wasn’t a “no” option on the ballots sent out to child care workers, allowing them to opt out of union representation. So even if only one person returns a ballot the union will have won the election, he said.

“Essentially it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy that on the 20th when the election is over, on the 21st they’re going to have a meeting here and they’re going to say ‘well SEIU won,’” he said.

However, a voting instruction pamphlet posted on the union’s website includes a sample ballot which asks “Do you wish to have SEIU as your representative for the purpose of collective negotiation?” The question gives the option to check either “yes” or “no.”

Sampson said he thought the argument that there are not enough child care workers to handle the demand was made up.

“I am not anti-union in any way, shape, or form. I just feel that if there is a group of people who feel that they need to their situation represented, and they want to collectively bargain then they should find a way to unionize themselves,” he said.

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(7) Archived Comments

posted by: lkulmann | December 15, 2011  10:09am

Markley needs to embrace change and become part of the solution. I mean these workers are practically abused by the State. Not getting paid on a regular basis…c’mon. Imagine this…your kid goes to daycare and the caregiver is stressed out because he/she has no benefits, low pay, limited transprtation, marginal healthcare, questionable nutrition/diet, bills piling up and etc etc…has to work with crying kids, hyper kids, sick kids, toss in a couple of special needs kids ...what’s the
incentive there?? Can’t even take a personal day to take a deep breath and relax. NOT a good situation. Childcare/
caregiver is an important profession.
Treat it like one…

posted by: Tren | December 15, 2011  6:12pm

OK, here is a warning disclaimer…Child Care is NOT a profession.  Give me a break.  If parents are sending their kids to a caregive who has bad nutrition, diet and marginal health care, why are you even considering sending your kids there???????  That is not a professional, nor is that person in a profession…....  Go to school like everyone else had to do and make sacrifices, like I had to do.  It is not my fault that you took a short cut for what ever reason.  I saved my money what little I made and put myself through school….This makes me sick

posted by: wmwallace | December 15, 2011  6:58pm

Boulder dash. This is nothing but a payback to the unions and has nothing to do with caregivers or those who get cared for.

posted by: lkulmann | December 15, 2011  11:05pm

@term…EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION is a profession. HOME HEALTH AIDES, NANNIES, CERTIFIED NURSES AIDES, MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS all professions, career choices and most are way under compensated. That’s why they want a union.

posted by: eastrivertype | December 16, 2011  6:10pm

OK, so when they get more money, where does it come from?  Who gets their taxes increased or their programs cut next?  Just another example of how to grow government.  A built in recipe for disaster down the road.

posted by: lkulmann | December 16, 2011  8:59pm

Well, I’m not an expert in CT finances, but the Department of Social Services gets a TON of Federal $$$ specific for community health care services. The problem seems to be where the money goes. Looks like some of it goes to the 100,000+ salaries in food stamps and all sorts of funky stuff going on at DSS. That anonymous person on the news said that there are millions of $$$ of claims of fraud that are never investigated and/or recouped. Bottom line, DSS is like a bottomless money pit. It needs to be investigated and straightened out. Kind of like what Malloy did with the mess of a State budget he was given when he took office. Ball is in the new DSS Commissioners court. Let’s see what he does with his budget…Honestly, I’m leaning toward that young attorney who is representing the State workers…he is calling for an independent investigation of DSS. The State workers will probably never get their jobs back, but they are taking the eligibilty workers defrauding the State $$$ down with them…

posted by: perturbed | December 17, 2011  12:46am

perturbed

Wherever it comes from, I know where plenty of the wages will go: http://www.osc.ct.gov/2011memos/numbered/201124.htm

  In accordance with the request of the Connecticut State Employees Association, SEIU Local 2001, the following dues/fees increase will be implemented effective with the pay period December 16, 2011 through December 29, 2011 (check date January 13, 2012).

Bargaining Unit   Deduction Code
   
P-3A   UDEDAM
P-3A   UFEDAM
P-3B   UDEDTC
P-3B   UFEDTC
P-4   UDENGS
P-4   UFENGS
DCJ Inspectors   UDCRJI
DCJ Inspectors   UFCRJI
NP-8   UDM67
NP-8   UFM67
Supervising Judicial Marshals   UD2001
Supervising Judicial Marshals   UF2001

II. CALCULATION METHOD

  Union dues and agency fees for all state employee bargaining units represented by CSEA SEIU Local 2001 are a percentage of base pay (overtime excluded and premium pay excluded) with a biweekly minimum and biweekly maximum as follows:

% of base pay as dues 1.00%
minimum biweekly dues/fees $24.00
maximum biweekly dues/fees $34.00

—perturbed

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