Representative Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, issued the following statement Friday regarding news from the Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) that a union election has been ordered for Minnesota child care providers. "I remain deeply concerned about the impact unionization will have on childcare costs and access," Franson said. "It's important that childcare providers make their voices heard and make an educated decision about whether private businesses should be subject to paying union dues. I'm extremely disappointed that just a fraction of Minnesota childcare providers will have the opportunity to vote on a union that could ultimately be negotiating on issues that impact providers across the state."

The election will include 2,384 providers who receive Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP) funding. Ballots will be mailed Feb. 8 and must have arrived to the BMS office (not postmarked) by Feb. 29. Franson is a former childcare provider and was recently named chair of the newly-created Select Committee on Affordable Child Care. Childcare providers who do not currently accept CCAP are not eligible to vote in the childcare union. "I hope providers will spread the word and make sure this election is not decided by just a small handful of votes," Franson said. "I urge anyone who notices irregularities or efforts to spread misinformation about the unionization effort to contact my office."