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Early childhood workers in Mass. seek unionization

October 10, 2011

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BOSTON—Two major Massachusetts teachers unions are backing attempts to enroll more than 10,000 early childhood education workers in the private and nonprofit sectors in an effort to boost their pay, but some fear it could also drive up tuition rates.

The Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts supports legislation that would authorize the creation of a statewide union specifically for early childhood educators.

Employees at more than 1,000 childhood centers that either have state contracts or receive some sort of state subsidy would be eligible to join the union. Custodians, van drivers, and program directors would also be eligible to join.

Opponents say unionization would increase costs, driving up tuition and compromising quality.