Dear Providers ,
It was brought to my attention that there are lots of questions being asked about “the union’s” position and involvement in current rule-making of child care rules. “The union” is you and any position that “the union” takes is informed by you, the members who participate and vote on issues.
Your voice, represented through your union is represented by providers like you who take the time to help lobby and provide testimony at public hearings and meetings. Your voice is also represented by me as the AFSCME lobbyist assigned child care and early learning issues and as a member of the Early Learning Council. I have been working on these issues for AFSCME for 4 years and was appointed to the ELC by Governor Kitzhaber 2 years ago. The governor appointed me to represent you and others represented by AFSCME in early learning and human services.
You too can participate directly. If you aren’t already a member of the union, join! Then you are able to participate in union discussions and vote on issues important to Family Child Care. My work representing you is very much informed through your participation in the union.
For those of you not familiar with the Early Learning Council, this is now the state’s rule-making authority for child care. In addition to me, there are 17 other members, but, as far as I know, none of the members of the Council know what it is like to be a Family Child Care provider. I have their ears and their email addresses, however, I need your help in letting them know how proposed rules would impact you.
For the Medical Marijuana rules that have been passed, your AFSCME team which includes me, our lawyer and providers, have been involved in the Rules Advisory Committee, attending the Child Care and Education Workgroup meetings and having numerous conversations outside of the public sphere to make sure that the providers’ voice and perspective are being heard.
It is incredibly hard work but I can tell you that it is working. Specifically around the definition of premises that was passed along with the Medical Marijuana Rules on August 7th. I have been focused on ensuring that the balance of your and your families’ lives are considered along with health and safety needs of the children in your care. The definition of premises that was passed on August 7th went way too far. AFSCME has submitted suggested language changes. (Faye will post those.) While our suggested language has not directly been adopted, changes have been made attempting to reflect our concerns but still need more work.
Other rules that impact you and the work you do are currently being considered. Rules on the Central Background Registry are also far too broadly written and we are working diligently to make sure that your rights are protected while protecting children in your care. Rules on the 15 passenger vans are also being considered and as you may know, AFSCME has a campaign - coloring and story project for your children to share as public testimony on how taking away the vans will adversely impact them.
I encourage you to participate in any way you can. This can be through AFSCME campaigns where we collect stories, in person testimony or written testimony or all three! If you wish to submit testimony in person or in writing, and want help, I am happy to assist you. With your participation, our collective voice is much more likely to be heard.
For the rules currently being considered, please know that you can submit written testimony to Peter Blume at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see the proposed rules here: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=4062. Please feel free to copy me on your written testimony. My email address is email@example.com.
There are many other rule revisions that will be coming up over the next year or two. These may include capping the number of hours a child can be in care, and annual renewal of Registered licenses as well as many others. Membership in the union ensures that you will have representation through lobbying efforts in discussing these rules as well as in the legislature. Are there any other organizations to which you belong that have a lobbyist that is directly informed by you?
We won’t be able to win every fight, but will be able to help people make informed decisions.
AFSCME Political Coordinator
Please see the attachment that includes the registered and certified draft rules.