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Sydney – Employees at Jewels and Gems Day Care Centre in Glace Bay have voted 98% in favour of strike action, to back their demands at the bargaining table.

CUPE National Rep. Jacquie Bramwell says, “The members of Local 4735 have been extremely frustrated by the fact that we’ve been trying for over a year to negotiate a first contract. The employer has refused to bargain even the simplest items.

Believe me, the last thing these child care workers want to do is withdraw their services and inconvenience families and the children, after all they are the caregivers. But the employer and the Board of Directors need to understand that some of these people are working for minimum wage.

And wages aren’t the main issue, not by a long shot,” says Bramwell. “We can’t even get to square one with this employer. They need to face the reality that their employees joined a union because they want to see improvements in their working conditions.”

When you don’t have any health benefits or a pension, or any basic workplace rights, it’s easy to see how CUPE got such a high strike mandate from this group of employees,” she says.

It is our sincere hope that when we get back to the bargaining table, this time with a Conciliator, we can reach a negotiated settlement in this dispute. This is the union’s preferred option,” says Bramwell.

There are 68 children enrolled at the centre with a unionized staff of 11. The staff includes ECE Teachers and a cook.

For information:

Cathy MacMullin
President, CUPE Local 4735
(902) 842-5139 (h)

Jacquie Bramwell
CUPE National Rep.
(902) 539-4933 (o)

John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)