Photo by Johnny Jackson Ennette Cahill, director of Childcare Network Center #184 in McDonough, tidies up one of the center’s infant-care classrooms.
DETROIT (AP) -- A small group of child-care providers in Michigan is in federal court suing to get out of a union that collects a share of their state subsidies.
Peggy Mashke is one of them. The 50-year-old takes care of 12 children at her home in northern Michigan's Ogemaw County. She says she thought it was "a joke" when she got a letter welcoming her to the United Auto Workers union.
The UAW and another union, AFSCME, formed a partnership called Child Care Providers Together Michigan, and it represents 40,000 at-home providers. Only 15 percent of providers cast ballots in 2006 but the new union was overwhelmingly approved.
The UAW says it cuts red tape and helps providers get state payments for watching low-income kids. The lawsuit is pending in federal court in Grand Rapids, Mich.