Daycare Providers Win Motion for Summary Hearing

Childcare providers, including one St. Michael woman, suing the State of Minnesota over the threat of unionization have been granted their request for a summary judgement hearing in Ramsey County Court.

Childcare providers, including St. Michael's Hollee Saville, who sued Gov. Mark Dayton over his executive order calling for an election to unionize their industry recently requested a summary judgment hearing. The move, filed soon after a Dec. 5, 2011 decision to file an injunction, was made to streamline the daycare's case against the state. 

This week, Judge Dale Lindman granted their request which should help to streamline the process. As a result, the hearing to file the injuction, originally scheduled for Jan. 17, has been rescheduled to a summary hearing now set for Wednesday, Feb. 22. The hearing begins at 2:30 p.m. at the Ramsey County Courthouse.

The temporary restraining order blocking the unionization election will remain in force at least until the February hearing.

“We won a restraining order and the next step was a temporary injunction, then a permanent injunction,” said Jeff Davis, speaking for the Childcare Freedom Coalition. “By granting our request for summary judgment, the judge is cutting through all of that. The case has already been argued and it’s time to put this to bed. This move will save us as well as Minnesota taxpayers needless added time and expense.”

Summary judgment could represent Judge Lindman’s final determination on the merits of the case, but which ever way he rules, appeals are still possible.

“We believe the law is clearly on the side of the plaintiffs in this matter,” Davis said, “The governor’s attorneys are citing statutes that pertain solely to state employees as justification to unionize these small business owners. He essentially wants to treat childcare providers like employees of the state without calling them employees, and he lacks the legal authority to do so. We expect to prevail, and hope that the governor will not waste more tax dollars pursuing appeals to try to keep his unlawful unionization scheme going.”

The case was filed in a response to the Governor's executive order, filed late last year, asking that all daycares receiving state assistance vote on unionization with the state employees unions (AFSCME and SEIU).

Saville, who owns in western St. Michael, said the order was simply a product of Dayton caving to union pressure. And, it's wrong that more than 12,000 private daycares will be represented by less than half of the population.

"It's horrendous that a vote–illegal to begin with–that affects EVERY licensed family childcare provider was only given to 4,287 providers," she said. "Unionization will hurt family childcare providers and the families for whom they care. It's not necessary. Look how much providers have accomplished on this issue (and many others) without unionization."

Happy in St. Michael January 11, 2012 at 07:03 PM
Thanks for covering the story, Mike! :)
clare January 13, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Well, it looks like the unions and lawyers are fleecing the small business owners. What a waste of TAXPAYER money for this stupidity. Gov. Dayton, GIVE the damn unions a few million of your money as their payback for getting you elected! Leave us alone.
Jane Theisen April 08, 2012 at 02:38 PM
jane I am a childcare provider in Otsego r for almost 23 years. I am so grateful this has come to an end for all us providers who did not want this unionization. We have the tools for our business if needed already and don't need goverment or unions in our face. Parents struggle all ready with costs on raising a family they dont need higher daycare rates from us. Thanks to all who helped this to come to an end.


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