Governor Dayton has ordered a vote among home-based child care providers about whether they should unionize. His executive order issued today (TUE) sets an election for December. It affects thousands of self-employed providers. The state Bureau of Mediation Services will oversee the election. Dayton says if a union is authorized during the vote, membership would be voluntary. Dayton’s decision furthers an already politically charged debate over union rights. The Democratic governor and majority Republican lawmakers have clashed for months about Dayton’s authority to call an election and whether a union should exist. State Senator Mike Parry of Waseca even threatened to sue if the governor issued the order. Dayton says that a total of 15 states have authorized child care providers to collectively bargain on matters such as staffing, safety training and quality of care.