DAWSON CREEK – Early childhood educators at the City Kids Daycare centre in Dawson Creek will be getting a wage increase of 18 to 25 per cent over the course of a three year contract which the city ratified last night. The educators are represented by CUPE Local 2403, the city workers’ union.
“This wage increase is a direct result of solidarity,” commented Heather Inglis, CUPE National Representative and chief negotiator for the union local. In addition to a negotiated increase in their hourly rates, “the ‘outside’ city workers agreed to a cents per hour increase in each year of the contract rather than a percentage increase. This helped to lift the lower wage rates of the early childhood educators.”
The increases range from 18 to 25 per cent depending on the position held and whether or not the childcare worker holds an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) Diploma.
The City Kids Daycare supervisor who holds an ECE diploma will see her wages increase from $16.20 per hour to $20.27 per hour by the end of the collective agreement, which expires on December 31, 2009.
CUPE Local 2403 was also successful in negotiating sick leave, medical, extended health and dental benefits for part time workers who regularly work 21 or more hours per week. This means several of the day care staff will now have access to these benefits as well.
This being said, the union still feels there is a lot more that can be done for child care workers. There is a critical shortage of qualified child care workers in the City of Dawson Creek and during bargaining a privately run day care closed their doors permanently due to a lack of staffing.
CUPE Local 2403 represents the 90 city workers of Dawson Creek providing recreation, aquatic, jail guarding, water treatment, city hall, street maintenance, parks and day care services. The City Kids Daycare has four members.