“I am always right.”

Since: Oct 09

Former MN Taxpayer

#1 Jan 10, 2014
AFSCME says it was a bookkeeping error. Sure it was. For once they told the truth. That is their error.

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AFSCME filing suggests taxpayer money went to organizing, union blames bookkeeping error

By Frederick Melo
Pioneer Press

Posted: 01/10/2014 12:01:00 AM CST
Updated: 01/10/2014 11:59:30 AM CST

A Minnesota union's federal filing suggests taxpayer money has been used for labor organizing, say a watchdog website and opponents of child care unionization efforts.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) says that's not the case, noting a bookkeeping error listed "organizing" when it should have read "training" on reports for how thousands of dollars from Ramsey County were used.

For years, opponents of child care unionization efforts have criticized Ramsey County for paying monthly stipends to a handful of child care providers and instructors affiliated with the union.

The recipients say they're hosting free trainings that show providers how to deal with asthma, autism and violent outbursts in kids, among other important lessons. Opponents, though, have called the payouts secret subsidies for union membership drives, an allegation that county officials have denied.

This week, the to-and-fro intensified.

The website Watchdog.org called attention to public financial filings of AFSCME, which described receiving county funds as a reimbursement for "organizing" in 2011 and 2012.

AFSCME has publicly attempted to organize 12,700 in-home providers who offer state-subsidized care in Minnesota, and the financial forms offered fodder for those who say they're doing so with taxpayer money.

"The union took taxpayer money designated for child care training and used it for union organizing," said Tom Steward, a Watchdog.org writer and former spokesman for Norm Coleman during the Republican's tenure in the U.S. Senate. "It's about $25,000 authorized per year, but not all of it has been paid out. They've done it since about 2009 or so."

The federal LM-2 reports listed $13,453 in payments from "Ramsey County DHS" to AFSCME Council 5 in 2012. The reports were filed with the United States Department of Labor.

http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_2488113...

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