“Today, and every day, we say thank you to our members and other ECEs and child care workers for the important work you do. We see you, we appreciate you, and we will continue to advocate for you.” — Bert Blundon, NUPGE President
The National Union has worked for many years to promote the need for a universal, affordable and high quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) program in Canada. Research shows access to quality child care enhances children’s development in every way – intellectually, physically, emotionally and linguistically. The National Union believes the establishment of an ECEC program is an investment in our future and our greatest resource – our children.
The National Union also continues to advocate to ensure that early childhood educators are compensated and recognized for the invaluable work they perform with Canada’s children. These dedicated workers often endure low wages, difficult working conditions and high levels of job insecurity. The National Union will continue to highlight the fact that the lack of proper wages and benefits, and the lack of respect and recognition, are driving child care workers and early childhood educators out of their field.
"Completely absent from this budget is information on how the government will ensure that this Canada-wide system attracts and retains qualified early childhood educators (ECE) and other child care workers, who are the backbone of quality child care. Efforts to expand the child care system must involve strategies to expand the workforce, improve compensation and working conditions, and ensure decent work in the sector." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Given how much is needed if we are to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to climate change, the budget fell short.
The measures in the agreement between the Liberals and the NDP are a major step forward, but far more is needed to address problems like climate change, income inequality and the gaps in our social safety net.
This is the submission by the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) to the 2022 Federal Budget consultation.
Now is the time for Ontario to come to an agreement with the federal government on the Canada-wide child care system and then get to work on improving accessibility, affordability, inclusivity, and quality. No more excuses.
As a union, we have always believed that great things can happen when we work together. This time is no different. We will keep fighting for good jobs with good wages, safe working conditions, and decent pensions. We will continue to fight for better communities and workplaces, free from racism and intolerance. We will fight to make equality and fairness part of any recovery.
"While this report looks back, we are focused on the future. There will be challenges ahead but we'll face them. As we recover from the last 2 years, we remain hopeful. It's time to reimagine our world. And we will do that—together." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“Showing ECEs and child care workers the appreciation and support they deserve is more than a one-day event — it must be core to this system-building project. This includes fair wages and benefits, implementing strategies for training, recruitment, and retention, and giving workers the resources they need to do their jobs.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
Gender Equality Week overlaps with Election Day. Voters will go to the polls to elect the next federal government — a government that will be responsible for getting us through the COVID-19 pandemic recovery and beyond. NUPGE encourages its members and the public to consider the political parties’ commitments to gender equality when casting their ballots.
"The need for a universal child care system has long been clear, and the pandemic made it more urgent than ever. We’ve seen growing public and political support during the pandemic. And today’s polling results show that voters are going to take this to the ballot box.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
“Throughout the election campaign you have been asked directly if you will cancel the child care agreements, and your response has been evasive. Given that child care is a key issue for so many Canadians, they deserve the respect of a definitive answer to this question.” — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
The renewed attention on the value of child care, and the child care workforce, during the pandemic brought unprecedented public and political support for universal child care. We are in a unique moment for child care in Canada. The next government has an opportunity to make a universal, public, affordable, and high-quality child care system a reality.
"While we might not like going to the polls, we need to seize this opportunity to tell the government what we need to rebuild. We need investments in green technology to create good jobs to address climate change and boost our economy. We need to put money and resources back into health care, community services, and other areas of the public sector that neoliberal policies at the federal and provincial levels stripped away. The need to pay workers living wages and full benefits has never been clearer. Without this, we will see potentially catastrophic consequences." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
In every city outside Quebec, families paying the median child care fee would be better off with a national child care program providing $10 a day child care.
"With this important step forward, we expect to see other provinces and territories coming to the table to negotiate strong deals that lay the groundwork for a universally accessible, publicly funded and publicly managed, high-quality child care system that fairly compensates and supports the workforce." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"The CLC 2021 Convention will set the course for the labour movement over the next several years internally and externally. NUPGE members will be front and centre in that work." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"While there are certainly some positive measures, there are also serious gaps and missed opportunities in this budget." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"The only way to stabilize this situation and prevent loss of child care spaces in the future — which women will need to re-enter the post-pandemic workforce — is through sustained, substantial public operational funding. We're sounding the alarm: the federal government must prioritize funding and full transformation of child care now, before it's too late." — Martha Friendly, report co-author