Judge Blocks Minnesota’s Child-Care Unionization Plan

Ramsey County Judge Dale Lindman has ruled that Governor Mark Dayton should have sought legislative approval to pass his child-care unionization law. Dayton had come under pressure for only issuing an executive order for a union election among 4300 child-care businesses that care for children on a state subsidy program, writes Ed Morrissey at Hot Air.

Critics said Gov. Mark Dayton overstepped his authority in calling for the vote, and while Ramsey County District Judge Dale Lindman said he respected the governor’s executive powers he didn’t think that the unionization vote had to take place so quickly, writes Mike Kaszuba at the Star Tribune.

“I just believe the process should go through [the Legislature],” Lindman said.

Lindma issued a temporary restraining order that will prevent mail-in ballots from going out on Wednesday, stating:

“I don’t understand where there’s a need for speed.”

Had Dayton have gone unopposed, the election would have begun this week, with a two-week period for mail-in ballots. Dayton’s order was somewhat controversial, as only 4,300 of the 11,000 licensed child-care providers in Minnesota would have been eligible to vote.

This is thought to be a major blow to Gov. Dayton, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), and the Service Employees International Union (SEI), writes Gary Cross at the Examiner.

Cross says that Dayton only had the authority to call for unionization elections if public employees are involved. Judge Lindman therefore ruled that these child care providers weren’t public employees, at all.

Lindman temporarily barred the election, pending further hearings on the matter.  Many will be watching what happens, as Cross points out:

“This has a much greater impact than just the 4300 child-care workers who suddenly discovered that their governor had declared them to be servants of the state rather than the private businesspeople they had considered themselves previously in order to allow his labor allies a chance to bully them into paying dues to the public-employee unions.”