The Freedom Foundation kicked off its opt-out tour last weekend in Spokane Valley at the Eastern Washington Family Child Care Association (EWFCCA) annual "Reach for the STARS" conference. Because it's not enough to write blog posts, policy articles, legislation and tangle with the unions in court, we are committed to visiting every county, every city and every Independent Provider (IP) in Washington State to inform them about the recent Supreme Court ruling Harris V. Quinn; which ruled that these employees were illegally unionized and have the right to opt-out.
Union boss Ray Ceaser recently acknowledged the Freedom Foundation's vigilance stating that we are "weakening unions by jeopardizing their financial resources" and that we "will be relentless in the year to come." He's right, not only will we be mailing, emailing, calling, buying radio air time, billboards, airing TV commercials, we will also be attending monthly childcare meetings, conferences and going door to door to inform workers who were illegally unionized of their rights to Opt out. We won't leave any stone unturned and by the end of 2015, every Independent childcare provider in the state will have been informed of their rights—we'll make absolute certain of that. The largest obstacle we have in getting these workers informed of their rights is the very union that is supposed to be representing them.
SEIU is terrified of their members finding out they are being taken advantage by being illegally unionized and forced to fund a partisan political machine. They have gone so far as to sue the Freedom Foundation to prevent a Public Records Request that would allow us the needed information to contact and inform various classes of IP's of their constitutional rights. Not only that, SEIU has been using intimidation tactics, harassment and bullying techniques to scare its own members.
However, not all union members are intimidated by SEIU. I was thanked for attending EWFCCA by several childcare providers whom had already opted out and were no longer being "extorted." While there were whispers of concern about talking with the Freedom Foundation, vague fears about what the Department of Early Learning (DEL) regulators and what the unions might say or do in retaliation, one childcare provider took our information an distributed it to all the conference attendees.
I also had the opportunity to speak with some former IP's that are now working at a child care center. I wasn't surprised to hear there is an organized effort being made by Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) to regulate in home childcare out of existence. Nor was I surprised to hear the union bosses weren't helping their members fight the new state regulations. The reason both the state and unions prefer large childcare facilities is because large, franchise childcare centers are preferred as easier to control environments for the state, and easier for the union to justify extortion.
These new DEL regulations are having an astonishing impact.
From 2008 to 2015, Spokane's in home childcare capacity has shrunk by 24 percent, with more people being regulated out of business every day. "It is becoming too difficult to maintain all of the standards, not to mention that some of them are direct assaults on our faith and values," said one childcare provider.
The Freedom Foundation is committed to defending the rights of children and their care providers by informing them of all their rights, unlike the unions, whose only concern is the maintenance of its own revenue, money, power, and control.
One of the greatest concerns of SEIU members is that they will lose insurance clients if they opt-out of the union. This simply is not true. The Freedom Foundation is assuring SEIU members that their insurance will not be adversely affected by opting out of SEIU. Apparently SEIU has misled its members—some of whom it is currently suing to keep them uninformed—to believe their membership in the union is somehow connected to their insurance as well as their ability to receive government subsidized clients, also known as "working connections" clients.
Our opt-out tour launch this weekend ruffled SEIU's feathers.
SEIU was unhappy with our presence this weekend, complaining to the organizers and causing some concerns of union retaliation against EWFCCA for allowing us to be there. They are worried we will succeed and providers will continue to opt-out once they are informed.
The Freedom Foundation is not afraid of the unions or the politicians and bureaucracies with whom they conspire, and neither should you. We will continue our Opt-Out Tourregardless of the unions and the certain actions they will take in an attempt to try and prevent us from informing their always-exploited members.