AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Child Care providers defended their union rights before the Senate Finance Committee and urged its members to adopt a budget amendment that would restore the collective bargaining rights recently stripped away by Gov. John Kasich.
Testifying before the committee, AFSCME Local 4025 President Aysia Haile explained how “having a voice on the job promotes better child care.
“Without our voices, the state will lose a critical negotiating partner. In addition, parents and their children will lose our voice as their advocate,” she said.
Haile went on to say, “I feel this is discrimination against women. Our profession is 90 percent run by women, and I feel our concerns, our voices, and our rights are being shut off,” she said.
In addition, Michael Batchelder, an Ohio Council 8 attorney, testified that in-home child care providers fill an irreplaceable niche in the state’s early childhood care system.
He noted that the union does all of this work on behalf of our members at no additional cost to the state.
“We do not bargain over wages or health insurance. The only cost is that providers who care for Ohio’s children have basic rights and a voice in decisions that affect their businesses and the children they care for,” he said.
Gov. Kasich and the legislature often pronounce their support for enhanced early childhood education. Yet the Governor’s action to strip collective bargaining rights from family child care providers sends the opposite message.
“We call on the legislature to do the right thing for Ohio’s child care providers, parents and children, and restore our collective bargaining rights,” Batchelder said.