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Update 1:30 p.m.:Judge stops union vote for child-care providers in Minn.

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News Willmar,Minnesota 56201
West Central Tribune
Update 1:30 p.m.:Judge stops union vote for child-care providers in Minn.
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. PAUL -- A judge has put a stop to an effort to unionize in-home day care workers.

Ramsey County District Court Judge Dale Lindman today issued a temporary restraining order to at least temporarily put the brakes on a unionization vote, which was scheduled to begin Wednesday.


Gov. Mark Dayton, who issued the election order last month, said he would talk to Attorney General Lori Swanson about how to proceed.

"I respect the decision of the court today," the Democratic governor said in a statement. "I am pleased the court was clear that I did not misuse my authority in issuing the executive order."

The judge suggested that the proper procedure may have been to take the issue to the Legislature.

"I continue to believe that in a democracy, people should have rights to elections to determine their own destinies," Dayton said.

Dayton issued the election order to allow 4,300 people who receive state subsidizes to care for children to vote whether they wanted to join a union. However, opponents of the vote said 11,000 Minnesotans host day cares in their homes, so more than half would be left without a voice.

Also, opponents said that day care operators are private businesses and state law does not allow them to join unions.

Republicans who opposed the vote were happy. They claimed Dayton overstepped his authority in ordering the union election.

"We are encouraged by Judge Lindman's decision to halt day care union election and will continue to stand in support of our day care providers," Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, said.

Parry was among the Senate GOP leaders who voted to support a lawsuit by 11 day care providers who oppose unionization.

Dayton's order required ballots to be mailed out Wednesday and returned within two weeks to determine whether day care unions would be allowed.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

Update 12:30 p.m. St. Paul judge blocks union vote for child-care providers

ST. PAUL -- A Ramsey County judge has blocked a child-care worker unionization vote that was to get under way this week.

Judge Dale Lindman ruled today that the union issue must go through the state Legislature.

Gov. Mark Dayton had called the election by executive order, but opponents to the election sued. They said the Democratic governor had exceeded his powers.

Lindman also said he was concerned that less than half of the state's 11,000 in-home child care workers were eligible to vote in the election.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.