RELEASE — Something Special Children’s Centre (SSCC) has been negotiating a new collective agreement with CUPE Local 3625 (the Union) since 2017. On Wednesday 30 October 2019, SSCC received notification from the Union that it would be commencing strike action on Monday 4 November 2019. In response to this threat and to ensure the ability to provide reliable and safe childcare to its families, SSCC initiated a lockout of Union workers effective at the close of business on Friday 1 November 2019.
UPDATE – Nov 15, 2019
CUPE has issued the following news release regarding this issue:
A tentative agreement has been reached between workers from CUPE Local 3625 and Something Special Children’s Centre.
The two sides met this morning for the second time since the lock out began on November 1. Details will not be shared until the members of CUPE 3625 have an opportunity to review the agreement and vote.
A ratification vote will take place over the weekend. Something Special Children’s Centre will be open on Monday, the 18th of November, pending ratification.
SSCC has been bargaining consistently on three main points for the past 21 months: a guaranteed wage for workers with annual increases, a change in shift length to 8 hours for compliance with Ministry of Education regulations, and the payout of unused sick time to employees.
“Our focus throughout negotiations has been to secure an agreement that provides long-term stability for both our workers and the Centre in the face of tremendous uncertainty with the current provincial government”, said SSCC lead negotiator Bryan Elliott. “Making necessary changes to hours of work and sick time accruals is essential to achieving that goal.”
Since 9 August 2019, both SSCC and the Union have been in a legal strike/lockout position. SSCC has continued to negotiate in good faith with the Union during this time. However, after exchanging final proposals during the week of October 27th, it became clear that the Union would not accept proposed payout of the accrued sick bank, stating in their letter that “CUPE has a bargaining policy that they won’t bargain concessions”.
SSCC has responded to the strike threat with a lockout of unionized workers in order to ensure its ability to provide quality childcare to its families. During the lockout, SSCC will continue to operate with non-unionized staff at 10 Chapman Street and has also arranged opportunities for care with partner childcare centers around Kingston for families who wish not to cross the picket line. Families have been provided with detailed information on this labour action and directions for how they will continue to receive services for their children.
SSCC remains open to further discussions with the Union and hopes that an agreement can be reached swiftly.
About Something Special Children’s Centre
Something Special Children’s Centre has been providing part-time and full-time childcare in downtown Kingston since 2000. The Centre is licensed by the Ministry of Education (EDU) to provide quality care for children from infancy through twelve (12) years of age.
Release source: Something Special Children’s Centre