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Minn. Legislature examines child-care union push

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news Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Republicans who have questioned the legitimacy and rationale for a union election affecting thousands of child-care providers are airing their concerns in a Minnesota House committee hearing.

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Home-based child-care providers will decide whether to form a union in a vote overseen by the state Bureau of Mediation Services.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton called the election via an executive order he issued last week.

Republican lawmakers have argued that Dayton lacked such authority, and some have vowed to sue.

Minnesota daycare providers who are not eligible to vote in an upcoming unionization election say they would still be affected by agreements reached between a new union and the state, and should be given a vote.

A handful of daycare providers brought their concerns to the House Commerce Committee on Monday. The committee delved into Gov. Mark Dayton's executive order setting a December unionization vote for 4,287 licensed child care providers that get a child-care subsidy from the state.

That's only a portion of about 11,000 total child care providers. Some left out say they'd still be subject to state training requirements, regulations and other matters that would be bargained by a new union.

Representatives of the two unions backing the drive were invited but did not attend the hearing.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

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