SECTION 1. Chapter 15D of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following sections:
SECTION 17 Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Commonwealth to assure quality early education and care for children by child care providers as defined in this chapter.
It shall also be the intent of the General Court that child care providers and the Commonwealth work jointly to establish a quality early education and care program that serves eligible low income families through providers who have the requisite skills and training.
SECTION 18. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS In order to address these challenges, child care providers are to be given the opportunity to work collectively to improve standards in their profession and to expand opportunities for educational advancement to ensure continuous quality improvement in the delivery of early learning services by collectively bargaining with the Commonwealth over its role in improving the quality of child care and subsidizing child care for the Commonwealth’s families. This new bargaining relationship does not intrude in any manner upon employer-employee relationships governed by federal labor relations law. In becoming members of an organization that represents them in their dealings with the state, child care providers do not forfeit their rights under federal law.
SECTION 2. Chapter 15D of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:
SECTION 19. DEFINITIONS RELATING TO COLLECTIVE BARGAINING RIGHTS OF CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
In addition to the definitions defined in Section 1A of this Chapter for purposes of sections 17-21, inclusive, the following words shall have the following meaning:
“Division,”- the Division of labor relations established by section 9O of chapter 23.
“Employee Organization” – an employee organization as defined in section one of chapter 150E.
“Child care center” and “school age child care program” shall be as defined in Section 1A of this Chapter 15D, which is licensed by the Commonwealth and holds a contract with the Department for the provision of subsidized child care services or receives a subsidy as provided by Section 2(b) of Chapter 15D.
“Child care providers" – child care center and school age child care program directors and workers.
“Representation fee” – the amount to be paid by the state to the employee organization for its role in advocating for professional development and representing child care providers under this chapter
“Services” – child care services provided for less than 24 hours in a day in any child care center or school age child care program as defined in this section.
SECTION 20. PROVIDERS’ RIGHT TO SELECT A REPRESENTATIVE FOR AND ENGAGE IN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE.
(a) Child care providers shall be considered public employees, as defined by and solely for the purposes of chapter 150E for bargaining with the Department of Early Education and Care, to collaborate through collective bargaining to improve the standards in their profession, expand opportunities for educational advancement and to ensure continuous improvement in the delivery of early education and care services. Said chapter 150E shall apply to child care providers except to the extent that chapter 150E is inconsistent with this section, in which case this section shall control. Child care providers shall have the right to form, join and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation and collective bargaining exercised in accordance with the rights granted to public employees under chapter 150E. In addition, child care providers shall be treated as state employees solely for the purposes of sections 19 – 21 of this chapter.
(b) Solely for the purposes of collective bargaining and as expressly limited under subsections (a) through (d) of Section 21, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts acting through the Commissioner of the Department of Early Education and Care is the public employer, as defined in section one of chapter 150E, of child care providers and is authorized to negotiate and agree to terms of collective bargaining agreements on behalf of the Commonwealth.
(c) The appropriate collective bargaining unit for child care providers shall consist of a single statewide unit of all child care providers at child care centers and school aged child care programs in the Commonwealth, regardless of the number of hours of care such child care providers have worked.
SECTION 3. Add the following new section to Chapter 15D:
(a) Every child care center and school age child care program, as defined in Chapter 15 Section 1A, shall provide to the Department of Early Education and Care a list of the names, home addresses, phone numbers, workplace and job title of all current child care providers, annually by January 30, except that initially such lists shall be provided within thirty days of the effective date of this section.
(b) The Department of Early Education and Care shall, upon request, provide to a labor organization a list of all current child care providers in the unit that the organization seeks to organize or represents. Such list shall contain information including name, home addresses, telephone number, workplace and job title with regard to such employees, as is necessary for the purposes of this act.
(c) Notwithstanding section 6 of chapter 150E, the scope of collective bargaining for child care providers under this section shall be limited to matters related to workforce development as described in Sections 2 and 5 of Chapter 15D, including: (i) professional development and training; (ii) conditions affecting recruitment and retention; (iii) quality ratings; (iv) career ladders and lattices representing salaries and benefits that suitably compensate professionals for increases in educational attainment and with incentives for advancement, including salary enhancement programs, retirement, health and welfare benefits; (v) the manner and rate of subsidy and reimbursement; (vi) representation fee; and (vii) grievance procedure related to (i) through (vi).
(d)The mediation and interest arbitration provisions of Chapter 150E shall apply.
(e) Nothing in this act shall grant child care providers the right to strike.
(f)This section does not create or modify:
(1) The parents' or legal guardians' right to choose and terminate the services of any child care center or school age child care program that provides care for their child or children;
(2) The child care center’s right to choose, direct, and terminate the services of a child care provider that it employs;
(3) The rights of employers and employees under the National Labor Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 151 et seq.
(4) The secretary of the executive office of health and human services' and the Commissioner’s right to adopt requirements pursuant to chapter 15D except for requirements related to grievance procedures and collective negotiations on personnel matters as specified in this section; (5) The General Court's right to make programmatic modifications to the delivery of Commonwealth services through child care subsidy programs, including standards of eligibility of parents, legal guardians, and child care centers participating in child care subsidy programs, and the nature of services provided.
(h) In enacting this section, the General Court intends to provide state action immunity under federal and state antitrust laws for the joint activities child care providers and their exclusive bargaining representatives to the extent such activities are authorized by this chapter.
SECTION 4. This act applies only to the governance of the collective bargaining relationship, as defined above in Sections 20 and 21, between the Department of Early Education and Care and child care providers. If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and this finding does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act in its application to the agencies concerned. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the Commonwealth.
SECTION 5. This act may be known and cited as the Access to Quality Early Education and Care Workforce Act.
SECTION 6. Sections 1 through 6 of this act are necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the Commonwealth and its existing public institutions, and take effect immediately.
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