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(Halifax) Child care teachers with the St. Josephs Early Childhood Centres have broken off talks with their employer, and moved one step closer to a possible strike.

CUPE Local 3845, which represents 45 teachers, cooks and other support staff in five child care centres throughout HRM, says they expect to be in a position to set a strike deadline by the end of next week, February 6th. That means a strike would take place 14 days later.

CUPE Local 3845 President Lisa Stewart says, In the last 10 years, this group of workers have seen their paycheques increase by approximately $3 a week. In keeping with this outrageous pattern, our employer has offered us 1% and 2.5% in a two-year deal.

Well 3.5% of peanuts is still peanuts, says Stewart, explaining that the lowest paid St. Josephs employees earn less than $17,000 a year.

Stewart points to the recent nurses wage settlement of 9% over three years as a more reasonable settlement.

Outstanding issues include:

  • wages and the wage scale

  • hours of work

  • overtime provisions

CUPE National Representative Ken Charsley says, The conciliation officer has told us that we could have two more days of talks before the strike deadline, and we have said that will only happen if the employer has something new to offer us.

The union has scheduled a meeting for its members next week.

For information:
Lisa Stewart, President, CUPE Local 3845
(902) 475-1667 (h)
Ken Charsley, CUPE National Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)
John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)