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Striking child care workers return to work at the Y

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McIntosh, Jennifer
Publication Date: 
14 Jul 2016



Early childhood educators and educational assistants returned to work at three Ottawa-area YMCA-YWCA daycares on July 14.

The staff from the Taggart Family Y, the Ruddy Family Y and Avalon Public School in Orléans walked off the job on July 12.

The workers are represented by Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 2204. Staff turned down a final offer from the YMCA-YWCA on July 11, citing high staff turnover because of low wages.

"Our colleagues at Ottawa's Ys care deeply about the children they care for. But it's hard for them to provide the best quality care when poor working conditions contribute to poor continuity of care for young children," Athina Basiliadis, president of CUPE 2204, wrote in a press release on July 14.

Both parties returned to the bargaining table shortly after workers walked off the job to get a deal hammered out.

"We are very pleased to confirm that a collective agreement has been reached with the union representing our licensed child care staff that both parties feel is fair and equitable," Rob Adams, associate vice-president of child care, camping and youth engagement for the Y wrote in an press release.

The three daycares were open for early morning drop off on July 14.

The job action affected a total of 40 workers, who were looking for parity with their colleagues in the Toronto area. A press release on July 12 said the average wage for an ECE worker is $14.41 per hour.

The agreed-upon salary of the new agreement has not been released.

But Basiliadis said the new agreement should stabilize the workforce.

"Through building solidarity and standing strong on three picket lines, members were able to ratify a collective agreement that came out of a tough round of negotiations," she said.

Adams apologized for the stress and inconvenience the work stoppage may have caused parents.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for the stress and inconvenience that this situation has caused your family; and to extend a sincere thank you to each of you for your ongoing patience, and to all of our licensed child care staff for their hard work and commitment to the families we serve," he said.