(Halifax) – Early Childhood Educators (ECE’s) at the Dartmouth Developmental Centre on Boland Road have voted 100% in favour of strike action, if they don’t reach a negotiated settlement with their employer.
The 10 employees are members of CUPE Local 4745 and are looking for a first contract, after they recently formed a union.
Local spokesperson Kathleen McCuaig says, “There are a number of outstanding issues including wages, vacations, sick leave and more.
“Not only is this employer refusing to give us a wage increase of any kind, we don’t even have WCB coverage and they’re denying us the right to that as well. ECE’s in Nova Scotia are no longer prepared to be treated like a cheap labour pool,” she says.
CUPE National Representative Michelle Cohen says, “A big part of the problem seems to be that the current Chair of the Board of Directors, Chris Hartt, has been bargaining for the employer. This is a person who has virtually no experience in collective bargaining and has presented major barriers to reaching an agreement and avoiding a strike.”
Cohen says the union has been using a contract recently signed at Sackville-Bedford Developmental Centre as a template with the Dartmouth Centre, but has met with nothing but opposition to improvements for these low-paid workers.
Both sides are scheduled to meet again in one final day of conciliation with the Department of Labour tomorrow.
Kathleen McCuaig Michelle Cohen John McCracken
Local 4745 Spokesperson CUPE National Rep. CUPE Atlantic Communications Rep.