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(Halifax) – Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) at five St. Joseph’s Children’s Centres in Halifax have given their union a 100% strike mandate.

The 50 employees, members of CUPE Local 4745, held a strike vote last night.  CUPE National Representative Naomi Stewart says, “I hope this send a very strong message to this employer that their position in bargaining to date is going to lead to a work stoppage.”

The five centres that would be affected are Brunswick Street, Quinpool Rd., Clayton Park, Scotia Square and Bedford.
Says Stewart, “Our contract talks so far have been characterized by a series of proposed concessions from the employer and absolutely no commitment on any kind of wage increase. It is well known that ECE’s in Nova Scotia are among the lowest paid in the country and desperately need to see their wages go up.”

Stewart says if parents are concerned about a possible strike at their centre, they should contact the chair of the St. Joseph’s Board of Directors who is spearheading the charge to wrestle concessions from the employees.

They can also contact the Minister of Community Services, Denise Peterson-Rafuse and suggest that child care funding must be increased in the upcoming provincial budget.

Stewart says talks are scheduled to resume with a Conciliation Officer from the Department of Labour on March 18, 2010. 

For information:

Naomi Stewart                                John McCracken
CUPE National Rep.                       CUPE Atlantic Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)                         (902) 455-4180 (o)