EDMONTON – A group of city child care workers, working for some of the lowest wages in the province and no benefits, are struggling to get a better deal.
The 24 female childcare employees of the Edmonton Garrison Military Family Resource Centre Society have been in negotiations with their employer since October 2013 when they voted 100% in favour of joining the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE).
CUPE spokesperson Bruce McLeod said that after 17 negotiating meeting dates with painfully slow progress, the union has no choice but to apply for a mediator.
“These women, many of whom are single mothers, are struggling on low wages and have no benefits,” said McLeod. “Childcare workers are well trained and carry enormous responsibilities – they deserve better than fast food wages.”
McLeod said the slow progress is largely because the Society has hired an expensive consultant who is slowing down the process.
“The consultant is doing everything in his power to drag this out, all while billing the Society his high consultant fees.”
McLeod said that the consultant’s bargaining positions include no wage increases for many employees over five years, with only some employees being offered an average of 1% over the same period.
“Because many of these workers are single mothers, they need a living wage and benefits to support their families,” said McLeod. “This consultant is doing everything in his power to prevent that from happening.”
Contact: Bruce McLeod, National Representative