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Striking Glace Bay daycare workers ratify new contract

by Robert Devet

Glace Bay daycare workers sign a new contract after a four-day strike. Photo Twitter
Glace Bay daycare workers sign a new contract after a four-day strike. Photo Twitter

(KJIPUKTUK) HALIFAX - After a four-day strike the workers of Town Daycare in Glace Bay are going back to work.

This afternoon the 15 members of Unifor Local 4600 voted in favour of a new contract that gives them a 1 percent pay increase.

The contract's duration is short. It will expire at the end of this year, and meanwhile union and management will work collaboratively to improve the difficult financial situation that the Glace Bay daycare centre is in.

Management's prior offer consisted of zero pay increase over three years.

“It was an offer made in good faith by the employer,” Susan Gill, president of the Local, tells the Halifax Media Co-op. “It's the best deal we can get out of this employer.”

It matters to Gill that the contract will expire at the end of 2015. Management wanted a three year deal, she says.

That, together with the joint-committee that will look at Town Daycare's financial situation offers some hope that further pay increases will materialize in the next years, she says.

“Everybody wants Town Daycare to survive and be sustainable,” says Gill.

Of course the government will need to take ownership of the situation, Gill notes.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development throughout the strike argued that it has no role to play, since the workers are not government employees.

Gill hopes that a lobbying effort by affected unions and employers will convince the government to address the extremely low wages that daycare workers earn in Nova Scotia.

The significance of the strike extends beyond just Town Daycare in Glace Bay, Gill believes.

“We were the first daycare to go on strike and make this a public issue.” she says. “I am proud that we shed some light on it.”

See also: Early childhood education in Nova Scotia, a story of neglect

Follow Unifor Local 4600 on Twitter; Follow Robert Devet on Twitter


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