(Halifax) – The YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth has issued termination notices to CUPE Early Childhood Educators employed at its Dartmouth child care center, citing issues regarding financial sustainability.
The not-for-profit organization plans to close the facility, located at 194 Waverley Road, on October 30, 2009. Staff and the families of children enrolled in the center were informed of the decision on July 28, 2009.
CUPE national representative Naomi Stewart says, “The timing of this closure is highly suspect. This center has, at least, 18 full-time spaces available. To say that financial sustainability is a factor when spaces are waiting to be filled is, in our opinion, not valid”.
The child care providers, members of CUPE local 4745, had recently been granted union certification by the Nova Scotia Labour Relations Board and have yet to achieve a first contract.
“Nine permanent staff will be affected by this closure, not to mention part-time staff and, most importantly, the 56 children and their families who are currently enrolled in the Dartmouth child care center”, says Stewart.
Stewart says, “Dedication to the growth of all persons is supposedly a fundamental part of the YMCA’s own mission statement. We fail to see how displacing 56 children and their families enhances the growth of any of these young people. We believe that closing this facility is a complete reversal of that statement”.
Stewart adds, “We have requested further meetings with the YMCA. Our members, the families and the children involved deserve answers”.
The YMCA is Canada’s largest non-profit child care provider.