MONTREAL -- The first day of strike action in early childhood centres across Quebec is set to happen in a week.

After general meetings in several regions in recent weeks, the CSN union finally said on Thursday that the 11,000 workers affiliated with it have adopted a 10-day strike mandate, the first day of which is set for Sept. 24, next Friday.

On Wednesday evening, union locals in Montreal and Laval announced they had adopted the strike mandate.

The CSN said in a press release that the strike mandate was adopted with 97 per cent approval across the province, saying there'd been an "extremely strong message sent to the government."

The mandate is for 10 strike days. The other nine days of strike will be declared "at a time deemed appropriate," said the union, adding that it's committed to informing parents in advance "in order to allow them to find alternatives."

Quebec childcare centre workers have been without a work contract for 18 months. During their negotiations with the government, they're asking in particular for a fair wage increase for all job titles.

They also want the means to provide better services to children, including those with special needs.

"Your offers submitted in July are insufficient and if you want to come to an agreement, you will have to come back to the table with a serious proposal," said Stéphanie Vachon, who represents the CPE sector at the Fédération de la santé et des social services (FSSS-CSN).

"The results also demonstrate the state of mind of childcare workers," she said, referring to the strike mandate vote.

"More determined than ever, our members are ready to fight and do battle with the government to improve their conditions."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 16, 2021.