Fighting to recover from cuts imposed four years ago
Burnaby (17 July 2007) - Early childhood educators at the Simon Fraser University Child Care Society have served notice that they will begin job action July 19 to back negotiations for fair wages and benefits.
"Our members have made the difficult decision to take job action because they cannot afford to continue to subsidize child care services for other families by accepting low wages and cuts to benefits," says George Heyman, president of the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU/NUPGE).
Union members will withdraw all services for a one-day study session, including a noon-hour rally, on Thursday, July 19. Then, beginning July 30, they plan to begin rotating a withdrawal of services within the 12 child care programs offered by the society, a provincially licensed facility.
"We want parents to know that we do not agree with the employer's suggestion that raising parent fees is the main option for addressing our demands," Heyman says.
"We call on the employer and parents to let Simon Fraser University and the B.C. government know that they have an obligation to provide the necessary funding to support quality affordable child care services. That includes ensuring that early childhood educators receive equitable wages and benefits for the important work they do."
These college-educated professionals provide quality early learning programs for children and support services for families.
The Liberal government of Premier Gordon Campbell cut their wages and benefits in 2003. Now the employer is demanding further contract concessions, wage caps on senior positions and offering minimal wage increases to others.
The union believes it is fair and reasonable to ask that contract standards be restored to the previous level and that wages be equal to those earned by other early childhood educators under current community social services agreements across B.C.
"Our members, many of whom have worked at SFU Child Care for more than a decade, certainly deserve better," says Heyman.
The BCGEU represents 67 members who provide child care services for some 260 families at SFU Child Care Society. NUPGE