FFM Bulletin 1/20/12

Child Care Providers to Challenge Unionization in Federal Court | VIDEO

On Thursday morning, the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota issued a news release announcing that a group of child care providers across Minnesota plan to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis challenging Governor Dayton’s child care unionization efforts on constitutional grounds. The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides free legal aid to for civil rights violations, is heading up the case.

“We wish we didn’t have to be in this position to begin with,” said Jennifer Parrish, a child care provider from Rochester. “But since we were put in this position we do believe that this violates our first amendment rights and we intend to argue that in court.”


The federal lawsuit contends that the union effort authorized by Governor Dayton’s executive order on November 15, 2011 violates the providers’ first amendment right of free political expression and association. The National Right to Work Foundation, a nonprofit legal aid association based in Washington, DC, has offered free legal assistance to child care providers who are battling what they view as compulsory unionization.

“The allegation is going to be that it’s unconstitutional, that the first amendment guarantees everyone the right to choose with whom they associate to petition government and that the government can’t choose who’s going to represent providers for lobbying the state,” said Bill Messenger, an attorney with the National Right to Work Foundation who’s working on the case.

The entire article can be found on our website and features video interviews with Jennifer Parrish and Bill Messenger.

FFM child care research in the news

Several media outlets throughout the state have picked up our news on the federal child care lawsuit, including the Star Tribune, Minnesota Public Radio, and Politics in Minnesota. Read some of the headlines below:
  • MPR: Child care unionization foes file federal lawsuit-
    Minnesota child care providers who oppose a union organization effort are poised to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court. A news release today from the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota said the lawsuit will challenge child care unionization on constitutional grounds.  Read more…

  • Star Tribune: Foes of unionizing child care workers in Minn. turning to federal court-
    "We wish we didn't have to be in this position to begin with," Jennifer Parrish, a child care provider from Rochester, said in a statement released through the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, a free-market advocacy group. Read more…

  • PIM: Childcare unionization opponents take case to federal courts-
    A group of providers will file a federal suit as soon as Thursday, arguing that a move to hold a unionization election in which some providers would not be able to vote, and potentially lead them to be represented by a union they don’t want to be a part of, violates their First Amendment rights. In a statement released by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, the group says it’s receiving legal aid from the National Right to Work Foundation as well. Read more…
Amicus brief filed on behalf of 13 child care providers

Here in Minnesota, attorney Harry Niska filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in Ramsey County Court on Thursday morning on behalf of 13 Minnesota residents who are current customers of licensed, registered family child care providers. These 13 parents oppose Gov. Dayton’s executive order to unionize in home child care providers. Last month, a Ramsey County judge issued a temporary injunction against the statewide election by a select group of child care providers throughout the state.

Niska argues that Gov. Dayton’s illegal unionization executive order harms child care customers by compromising antitrust protections and that the governor exceeded his constitutional authority by issuing this Executive Order. Ultimately, Niska asks the court to grant the Plaintiffs’ motions for a temporary injunction.

The entire brief can be found here:
FYI: Upcoming FFM media appearances

FFM CEO Annette Meeks will be on Fox 9 News this Sunday morning (9 – 10 a.m.) offering  discussing the upcoming Minnesota legislative session as well as updates on the Republican presidential contest.  
*Reminder: With the start of the 2012 legislative session only days away, keep an eye out for more analysis and insight from FFM and Minnesota State News (www.MNStateNews.com).

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