Daycare workers to strike across Quebec as negotiations come to a halt
MONTREAL -- Walkouts in several of Quebec’s early-childhood centres are set to begin on Monday with provincial treasury board negotiations stuck at "an impasse," a major union announced Friday.
“After a week of intensive negotiations, the representatives of (early-childhood) employees … and the employers' party failed to come to an agreement and ended talks,” the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) wrote in a Friday press release announcing the strike.
“We must, once again, increase the pressure to get the government moving,” wrote Stéphanie Vachon, childcare lead at the Federation of Health and Social Services (FSSS), which is part of the CSN.
In early-childhood centres where workers are represented by the FSSS, walkouts will take place Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, next week.
In centres where workers are part of the Federation of Early Childhood Workers -- affiliated to the Centrale des syndicats du Quebec (CSQ) -- the strike will take place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
The two trade unions are reportedly considering an indefinite strike should negotiations not reach a resolution.
As for the Quebec Service Employees Union (SQEES), affiliated with the Fonds de solidarité (FTQ), its strike is scheduled for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
From the unions' perspective, the dispute centres salary concerns -- not just for educators, but also for other workers in the early childhood centers. Such workers include specialized educators, as well as administrative, kitchen and maintenance workers.
However, the government of Quebec wants to give priority to educators by offering them larger wage increases, in an effort of offset the province’s educator shortage.
Quebec also wants to encourage educators to adopt the 40-hour week over five days. For now, it’s common for educators to work 32 to 36 hours per week.
-- This article was first published by The Canadian Press in French on Nov. 19, 2021.