Daycare strike goes ahead despite last minute negotiations

Record Staff

The unlimited general strike threatened by the province’s subsidized home daycare workers since the beginning of September will be going ahead as planned on Monday, despite early implication from the union representing the workers, the FIPEQ-CSQ, that progress was made on Sunday.
After weeks of rotating strikes that moved across the province region by region, the FIPEQ-CSQ cancelled a Sunday morning press conference meant to provide an update on the situation citing progress at the bargaining table. In the early afternoon the union called on Minister of Families Mathieu Lacombe to entrust the calculation of workers’ pay to an independent arbitrator.
The union clarified that the demand that home care providers earn the equivalent of $16.75/hour instead of the current $12.42/hour is based on the idea of considering the workers to be the same as a non-trained, level 1 educator in a childcare centre.
“They are true early childhood professionals,” said Valérie Grenon, president of the FIPEQ-CSQ. “They are at the same time an educator, food manager, bookkeeper, janitor, and so on.”
Grenon underlined this point by citing a Léger survey commissioned by the union to point out that family childcare providers who are members of the FIPEQ-CSQ have an average of 16 years of experience.
As part of the current negotiations, FIPEQ-CSQ proposed to the Ministry of Families to use the non-trained educator at level 1 as a comparative job, provided that a family childcare provider job evaluation committee is set up to make recommendations on the actual tasks and jobs to be compared.
“This was already a major concession for our organization,” Grenon states in the press release. “All that remains to be settled is the calculation, but the Ministry of Families refuses to table its way of calculating.”
FIPEQ-CSQ’s negotiating team is therefore offering to the ministry to settle the negotiations by entrusting this basis of calculation to an independent third party.
“It won’t be possible to adjust the calculation gap that separates us today. In order to avoid an unlimited general strike I invite the Minister of Families to accept our extended hand to sign a collective agreement in order to stop the closing family childcares and attract new family childcare providers”, Grenon concluded.
By late afternoon the union announced that the ministry had rejected this offer, however, and that the strike will go ahead as planned.

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