The majority of daycare centres across Quebec opened hour late on Friday morning as 10,000 workers across the province ratchet up pressure on the provincial government to renew their collective agreement.
Striking workers and officials from their division of the Centrale des Syndiques du Québec (CSQ) union gathered in front of the offices of a number of MNAs and cabinet ministers across the province.
They include Finance Minister Eric Girard, Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon, Labour Minister Jean Boulet, Education Minister Jean-François Roberge, Families Minister Mathieu Lacombe, Municipal Affairs Minister Andrée Laforest and Treasury Board president Christian Dubé.
The CSQ has directed daycare centres to open 15 minutes later each Friday since the end of January. The CSQ has also been granted a mandate to shutter daycares entirely for a half a day, as well as for a full day, but the union has so far not indicated it plans to make use of that mandate.
The principal sticking point in the ongoing contract negotiations with Quebec City has been compensation. Daycare workers are not paid by the hour, but instead by a provincial subsidy.
The CSQ estimates those subsidies amount to an hourly wage of just $12.42.