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N.S. child care workers among lowest paid in the country [CA-NS]

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Halifax Live
Publication Date: 
31 Oct 2005

See text below.


Child care workers in Nova Scotia are not only among the lowest paid in the country, they have higher than average levels of training. That news comes from a study conducted for the Canadian Union of Public Employees, the largest child care union in Canada.

The study's findings were presented by CUPE National Researcher Margot Young to a forum in Halifax entitled, "Women, Work and Care: Policy at the Crossroads." The forum was hosted by the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Young told the forum, "The study looked at CUPE child care wages across Canada, and while it found that unionized workers in Nova Scotia are the highest paid in the province, they are among the lowest paid of unionized workers in the country. They also have training and qualifications which are above the national average."

Specifically, the 2003 study "Unionization and Quality in Early Childhood Programs" found that:

- Wages and benefits for teaching staff are substantially better in unionized centres.

- Turnover rates for teachers are lower in unionized centres.

- A significantly higher proportion of unionized centres act in ways that predict or are associated with higher levels of quality.

Said Young, "Unlike what has been happening in other provinces, such as Manitoba, Ontario and even Alberta, the Nova Scotia government has made no commitment that any of the millions of dollars in new federal child care money will be earmarked for workers' wages."

CUPE has this week launched an organizing campaign aimed at child care workers in Nova Scotia. As part of that campaign, the three CUPE child care locals in Halifax - St. Joseph's Children's Centre, North End Day Care and Halifax Student Housing Society - have merged together to form one, new group. With 90 workers, CUPE Local 4745 is now the largest child care group in the province.

- reprinted from Halifax Live