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AFSCME reports using thousands in taxpayer money to organize unions

Opponents of an effort to unionize family child-care providers have long suspected — but could never prove — that some taxpayer money designated for training was instead used for union organizing.

There now appears to be a smoking gun that supports their allegation — mandated disclosure forms, uncovered by Watchdog Minnesota Bureau, were filed with the U.S. Department of Labor.by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Two LM-2 annual financial reports filled out by AFSME Council 5 in 2011 and 2012 show $33,300 in taxpayer money from Ramsey County DHS  — Department of Community Human Services — were categorized as an “organizing reimbursement” and apparently spent on organizing for a controversial child-care providers’ union.

“It angers me that my tax money is going to do the one thing that is going to hurt me,” said Cyndi Cunningham, an opponent of a provider union who operates her own St. Paul child-care business.

”It’s not just Ramsey County’s money, it’s my tax money. I’m paying to have somebody organize against me.”

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