After 17 long years, family child care providers in California will have the ability to bargain together for higher pay, better training and the kind of improvements that mean their families will no longer have to struggle just to pay for necessities.
And the vote wasn’t even close. Ninety-seven percent of those voting chose Child Care Providers United (CCPU) to represent them.
“After so many years of struggle, I am happy we have finally certified our union. After so many bills vetoed, trips to Sacramento, and providers who have come and gone, we are finally ready to begin negotiating for a better early care system for providers, our communities, and the children in our care,” said Zoila Carolina Toma of Signal Hill.
“Through good and bad times, including this pandemic, the doors of my home have remained open for families in need of a nurturing and safe place to educate their little ones, because the weight of a pandemic shouldn’t fall on the shoulders of children. Instead, they should have all of us, and especially our elected officials, to look up to when it comes to making the right decisions, including committing to equity,” said Patricia Moran, a child care provider in San Jose.
“It should not take 17 years to form a union. SEIU members across the country are determined to elect leaders who will see, hear, and listen to working people and rewrite the rules to give all service and care workers the right to join together in unions to negotiate for better pay and a better life,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry.
Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing struggle for racial justice around the country, these child care providers, a workforce that is mostly women and 74 percent people of color, have shown the power of resiliency and hard work. Their victory is an example for everyone.