Friday, May 11, 2007

Daily Politics 5/11/2007

From the Daily Politics:
Spitzer Bolsters His Labor Ties

In recognition of Labor History Month, Gov. Eliot Spitzer today signed an executive order granting 50,000 day care providers the right to unionize and negotiate with the state to receive bigger public subsidies.

This has long been expected by the labor community, and is a big win for them. It is especially big for the labor-backed Working Families Party, which was among Spitzer's earliest backers but has often been at odds with him on policy - particularly when it comes to healthcare.

UPDATE: I'm told the bulk of the organizing work on this one was done by NY ACORN, whose executive director, Bertha Lewis, is a WFP co-chair, and the United Federation of Teachers.

This unusual move by Spitzer takes the place of legislation that passed the Legislature last year but was vetoed by former Gov. George Pataki.

The Senate overrode the veto on the last night of the 2006 legislative session in June - largely in hopes that the WFP would back then-Republican Sen. Nick Spano in a key race in Yonkers; the party remained neutral and Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins defeated Spano, further narrowing the GOP majority's already-slim margin in the chamber. The Assembly did not follow suit with the override.

The expectation is that day care workers will join one of the two state unions - PEF or CSEA. Critics say this sets a dangerous precedent, creating an employer-employee relationship where none should exist.

UPDATE: UFT spokesman Stu Marques says the expectation is that day-care workers within NYC will join UFT while those outside the city will join CSEA.