In 2007, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) approached child care centers (not home day care centers) in Washington about joining the union. After learning that the union would not disclose how much membership was going to cost or specify the benefits that the centers would receive, they declined.
For those of you who run businesses, you understand that if someone doesn’t want the services you offer you need to figure out a way to improve what you’re offering. For those of you who love freedom, you might think that you as an individual should have the right to refuse someone else’s service. However, unions are not businesses nor do they apparently respect the rights of women to choose whether or not union representation is best for them. Therefore, they did what you and I can never do.
They went to their friends in the legislature who take lots and lots of their money for campaigns and asked the legislature to force daycare centers to reap the blessings of union membership—whether they like it or not.
What resulted was House Bill 1329, which has already passed the House of Representatives and has moved to the Senate for consideration. Although unclear, it appears that this bill would compel all child care centers to become part of a union if one person from 30% of the centers says they want to join. Therefore, if there were 100 centers with 5,000 employees, 30 signatures (one from 30 different centers) could compel all 5,000 employees to become union members.
As if the threshold wasn’t low enough, the bill requires the state to disclose the names and addresses of day care employees to the unions. Disclosure of personal information to entities outside the government is currently illegal and Washington State has already been sued for doing precisely what this bill mandates. But why worry about things like privacy when there are political favors to give.
To sweeten the pot, the bill makes no guarantees about services that will be offered nor does it tell workers how much of their paycheck will be taken to pay for the union membership. That small detail is to be worked out in negotiations where Governor Gregoire will represent the interest of child care workers against the union. For those of you who don’t follow Washington State politics closely, that would like finding out Al Capone has been appointed to represent you in your negotiations with the mob.
The proponents of the bill are very excited about what union involvement will do for the quality of education in these centers. If enacted, we should all hope the unionization of child care will produce better results for child care than the Washington Education Association has produced for general education. But the early results are not promising.
In-home child care centers were forced into unions in 2007. Workers in those centers are reportedly underwhelmed by what they receive for their mandatory monthly contributions. In committee, no attempt was even made to show that the quality of care in those centers was improved.
The bill would not only compel individuals to join a union over their objections, it would force church child care centers to participate as well. This is problematic because the large majority of churches are philosophically opposed to union positions.
Recently, the SEIU gathered 150 million dollars from their "members" to spend on political campaigns. 85 million was used to fund Democrat candidates.
The SEIU proudly supports gay marriage, abortion on demand and other social agendas that many individuals would object to based on religious conviction.
The National Education Association, who is also supportive of this bill, has taken similar positions.
Unions should be free to exist and they should be free to speak their minds. However, they should not be free to force people who do not want their services or agree with their agenda to be members.
As the freedom loving Thomas Jefferson once said “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical.”
If you think this anti-choice measure is bad policy, we urge you to call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000. This number will enable you to leave a message for your legislators even if you don’t know who they are by providing your address. If you would like to contact your legislators individually, you can find them by clicking here.
Please be respectful, but please be heard.