Some Quebec families are having to find alternate child care arrangements Tuesday and Wednesday due to a rotating workers strike in the province.
Educators from one of the major daycare workers’ unions, the Fédération des intervenantes en petite enfance du Québec, are picketing this week over stalled contract negotiations.
Tuesday’s job action involves workers in Montreal, Laval, Lanaudière, Montérégie and Estrie, while Wednesday’s takes place in Quebec City, Chaudière-Appalaches and Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
Union president Valérie Grenon says the workers are fighting for better pay, more hiring to support existing staff and more resources for children with special needs.
She told a gathering Tuesday morning that workers are also worried about being forced to work mandatory overtime due to a shortage of educators in the network.
Educators from two other unions will hold separate two-days strikes this week and next.
Last month, Members of a union representing early childhood workers in Quebec have voted 95 percent in favour of a six-day strike.
The Federation of Early Childhood Workers of the CSQ (FIPEQ-CSQ) said the days will be used at the appropriate time.
Workers have been without a renewed collective agreement for the last 18 months.
The federation met on Tuesday with the minister responsible for government administration, Sonia LeBel, and noted the minister’s openness to the search for solutions to the negotiations.
The federation is asking for salary increases for educators of 27 percent over three years.
Currently, the salary for a qualified educator is $19 per hour and can go up to a maximum of $25 per hour.
The federation is also asking for a “COVID bonus,” stressing that the service offered by daycare centres was considered to be an essential service during the pandemic.
The union represents 13,000 members in various childcare services, including CPEs (Centres de la Petite Enfance or early childhood centres_.
The Federation of the Centrale des Unions du Québec is also calling for a minimum level of employment for those who support educators such as maintenance workers and specialized educators.
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