Workers at dozens of daycares vote to go on long-term strike
Published Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:38AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 17, 2018 7:07PM EDT
Daycare workers in Laval and Montreal were once again on strike on Thursday and they have decided they are willing to go on a long-term strike if necessary.
More than 1,200 CPE workers held a one-day general assembly at the Palais des Congres where they discussed their demands, then voted on whether or not to hold a long-term strike.
The result: 91 percent of favour of a general strike.
They had previously held two one-day strikes in April, as well as other short walkouts in the three years since they have had a contract with their employers.
Unlike most other daycares in the province, the CPEs that are part of the Provincial Employers Association of Daycares (APNCPE) did not ratify an agreement made last year between union workers and the Ministry of Families.
The main disagreement in their contract dispute is scheduling and when their employer can decide they are not needed to work for the day. Employers want to be able to call employees in the morning and tell them not to come into work that day -- and consequently not pay those employees -- if several children are absent.
CSN negotiator Tania Valdez said it comes down to respect for employees.
"Respect for our seniority, that's a basic fundamental thing of the unions. They want to cut hours whenever, so when you are supposed to be working, for example 40 hours a week and you go down to 30 or 28, how can you manage your finances not knowing how many hours a week you will do?" said Valdez.
The striking workers are employees at 56 CPEs in Montreal and Laval which provide care for about 3,000 children.
The owners of the subsidized CPEs disagreed with how the union is framing the issue and said their demands are relatively minor.
They are upset that the union staged Thursday's strike vote considering several days of contract negotiations are scheduled for June.