Photo: CSEA President Danny Donohue joins childcare providers from CCPT-NY/CSEA and organizers in celebration of an overwhelming election victory.

PAL extends an enthusiastic congratulations to the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), a member of the Prescription Access Litigation coalition. Last year, Governor Spitzer (NY), signed an executive order giving home-based child care providers the right to union representation. Last week, with an overwhelming vote of 96% confidence, 17,000 child care providers formed a union and joined the CSEA/Child Care Providers Together – New York (CCPT-NY/CSEA). This victory means these child care professionals will be able to bargain for fair and timely pay, and the efficient delivery of State child care funding. Home-based child care workers provide affordable care to millions of children while their parents work. Yet too often such providers receive low pay and no benefits. Union representation improves their livelihoods and gives them a voice and the power to negotiate.

We are proud to welcome these 17,000 Child Care Providers to the PAL Coalition, through the CSEA!

In October 2007, we proudly announced that the parent union of PAL member United Federation of Teachers Welfare Fund also won a victory in having 28,000 home child care workers join its ranks. (See Archive for the ‘UFT’ Category Congrats to PAL member UFT Welfare Fund — 28,000 home child care workers join UFT)

Here is the CSEA Press Release:


ALBANY – 17,000 childcare providers across New York State voted today to form a union and join CSEA/Child Care Providers Together – New York (CCPT-NY/CSEA). In one of the largest elections ever conducted by, the New York State Employment Relations Board 96 percent of the providers voted to join CSEA.

“Today, 17,000 day care workers in New York added their voice to the national cry for change. They said the best way for working families to bring change is to form unions,” said John Sweeney, President of AFL-CIO.

Danny Donohue, CSEA Statewide President, congratulated the providers: “In joining the 7,500 licensed providers who have already joined our union, you now have the chance to change how childcare is provided in New York State.”

In the U.S., informal childcare represents half of all childcare for kids under the age of five whose parents are working.

“More than 65,000 child care providers joined AFSCME since 2005 to win rights and respect and be treated as professionals,” said Gerald W. McEntee, President of AFSCME, the largest child care union in the country representing more than 300,000 child care providers. “Today’s victory in New York is historic. This will help New York‘s 17,000 child care providers deliver the best quality care and early childhood education for our kids.”

The overwhelming election victory – 96 percent voting in favor of the union – means the providers have the right to negotiate with the State of New York to solve multiple challenges facing both providers and parents. Negotiations will be held with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS).

For the providers, the biggest problems are more efficient delivery of county childcare funding, improving rates and on-time delivery of payments.

“We are excited to have our union so we make the changes needed to improve our work, get paid on time and care for the children,” said Sherriam McMaster of Albany, NY. McMaster has been a provider for just over a year.

Child Care Providers Together brings the total of unionized childcare providers represented by CSEA in New York to 25,000. In May of 2007, Gov. Eliot Spitzer signed and executive order granting home-based family childcare providers in New York State the right to union membership/representation. The executive order created 4 bargaining units. Units were subdivided into two in New York City and two covering the rest of the state. The teachers’ union (UFT) represents family providers in NYC.

The 2 units outside NYC are:

  • License-exempt providers outside NYC. About 17,000 providers.
  • Licensed group family and registered family providers outside NYC. About 7,500 providers.
Both are now represented by CSEA.

The organizing campaign had the support of the Rev. Jesse Jackson who helped with phone calls to the providers.

According to a recent release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union membership is seeing its biggest rise since 1983.

Consistent with this national trend, CCPT-NY/CSEA is not the first childcare union CSEA has organized. It follows in the footsteps of the recently certified VOICE (Voice of Organized Independent Child Care Educators), a bargaining unit of 7,500 registered and licensed providers outside of New York City. VOICE began negotiations with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services earlier this month.