Child care workers could unionize under bill in Olympia

OLYMPIA – Democratic state lawmakers are trying again to allow some child care workers to unionize.

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 62-35 for a bill granting collective bargaining rights to workers of day care centers that receive state subsidies for serving low-income children.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

This measure, House Bill 1329, stirred much controversy in 2009. It passed the House but died after the majority there rejected changes made by the Senate.

House Democrats expect the outcome will be different this time because they are apparently willing to accept revisions pushed by senators a year ago.

One of those would drop the bill’s requirement for collective bargaining at small centers where aid is received for one or more children. The Senate wants participation to be voluntary.

Another expected change would remove an exemption in the House bill for companies and nonprofit organizations that operate larger centers.

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