Seattle's universal preschool plan hits hurdle over union meeting

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by TERESA YUAN & KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 15 at 9:58 AM

SEATTLE -- The plan for universal preschool in Seattle hits its first obstacle. A major sticking point is child-care providers who get city money must meet with union representatives by December 1 and sign a "teacher stabilization agreement” or lose city funding.

Day-care providers are not require to join a union. Mayor Mike McGinn explains on the city’s website: "A teacher stabilization provision in city contracts and agreements with early learning and child-care providers will boost retention of effective teachers and help prevent disruption of services to young children and their families."

But some day-care providers who are not unionized, like the YMCA of Greater Seattle, are skeptical. 

“This is an attempt by the city to provide unions access to child-care workers so they can unionize," Bob Gilbertson, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Seattle, told the Seattle Times. "It feels like we are being strong-armed."

The YMCA of Greater Seattle employs about 50 teachers in the city at before and after-school programs and three preschools.

 

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