WINNIPEG – The 20 Early Childhood Educators at the Seven Oaks Day Care Centre could be on strike within two weeks.
Bargaining between the members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Local 1543, and the employer has taken place over 14 months with no resolution in sight, according to Wally Skomoroh, National Representative of CUPE.
“The main issue is wage increases for the staff, but frankly, they have been treated so poorly that there is also a principle at stake here. The employer has just not treated our members fairly,” said Skomoroh.
“The members are dedicated to their children and just want to do their best, but the employer does not seem to recognize their commitment, nor do they respect their work.”
The Union is arguing that funds for salaries have been allocated from the Department of Family Services and Housing, but the employer has not passed on this money to the staff. Last year when the Federal Government decided to not honour the Child Care Agreement, the Province of Manitoba maintained their commitment. Funds were provided to the various child care facilities on the understanding that most of the money was for child care workers.
“In bargaining there comes a point when you have to realize that just talking or waiting to talk is not good enough, when you have to say ‘enough is enough’. We are at that point, and if we don’t see some clear action in the next seven days, we are going to serve official notice to take job action,” said Skomoroh.
The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canada’s largest union representing more than a half-million women and men. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members working in health care facilities, school divisions, municipal services, social services, child care centres, public utilities, libraries and family emergency services.
For information, contact: Wally Skomoroh, National Representative at 942-0343; Dennis Lewycky, CUPE Communications at 333-5065