NUPGE Annual Report: 2020 in Review is a look back on what NUPGE accomplished in 2020.
Early Childhood Education
Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) provide an invaluable service to Canadian children and their families and to the future of our country. These dedicated workers help shape our children’s social, physical, emotional and cognitive development.
Unfortunately, these dedicated workers are subject to low wages, high levels of job insecurity, limited career opportunities and lack of recognition. For example, the earned income for an ECE is half of the national average. They are exposed to physically demanding work, poor physical environments, infectious diseases and stress.
The National Union has and will continue to advocate to ensure that ECEs are properly compensated and recognized for the work they perform.
86% of Canadians said it is important to them that all Canadian families have access to quality child care regardless of income. 84% of Canadians also said that access to affordable child care is essential for Canada’s economic prosperity.
A Canada-wide child care program would also create greater equality, boost regional and rural economic development, and bring long-term health and well-being benefits for future generations.
And what about the long list of workers that have been deemed essential during this pandemic? People who work in our grocery and convenience stores, at gas stations, or who provide food delivery. These are also the heroes we’re hearing about. Would you have seen them that way before the pandemic broke out?
We need to take care of ourselves especially now and a big part of being healthy means taking care of our mental health. Stress is a major factor in poor health. And for those who struggle with mental illness, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, these times are especially difficult.
“A legislated raise limited to 1% comes to less than $8 a week, far less than the $60 a day the government is spinning through its propaganda machine doubling as our education minister. The government should abandon this cruel and ham-fisted legislation and get serious about bargaining right now." — Warren (Smokey) Thomas, OPSEU President
With 2 out of 4 national political parties committed to universal child care, the outcome of the election could help reduce the overwhelming costs for families across the country.
Unless the Minister completely rejects the idea that the Social Finance Fund will be used to "bring private funding, incentives and discipline into social services," past experience shows we need to assume that it will be used to subsidize the privatization of social services.
“Child care is an issue that affects our entire society. The effects of costly child care are felt most obviously by parents of young children. But grandparents are also affected in that they are spending their golden years babysitting because their children can’t afford to pay for care. Affordable child care should be a priority for all Canadians.” — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
"All families and children deserve access to a seamless system that better supports our educators and addresses the inequities that exist between centres across communities in Nova Scotia.” — Kelly Ann Hamshaw, Executive Director of the Kingstec Campus Learning Centre in Kentville
The current regulations were brought in following a number of heartbreaking tragedies, such as the death of 2-year-old Eva Ravikovich, who died in 2013 after being left in an SUV for hours on a hot summer day.
"We need federal leadership to ensure there is affordable quality child care across the country — and that only happens with increased, directed funding." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President
"This is a growing sector in the union, and the more members we get, the greater strength we have when it comes to achieving better wages and safer working conditions for everyone.” — Kelly Martin, Chair, OPSEU Boards of Education and Cultural Institutions sector
"These new locals have recognized that joining our union provides them with a stronger voice in their workplace, and that the MGEU/NUPGE has the experience and expertise to ensure their concerns are addressed. Welcome to our 3 newest locals.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President
“A focus on inclusive child care for children with disabilities is very welcome news.” — Val Avery, HSABC President
"We know it will take time to restore proper service levels to British Columbians. We will support the government as they continue to do the right thing to make British Columbia a more affordable, equitable and healthy society for everyone, not just the one percent." — Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President.
This leaflet stresses the need for a universal early learning and child care program in Canada. Research shows that access to quality learning and child care enhances children's development in every way — intellectually, physically, emotionally and linguistically. As well, an early learning and child care program creates jobs and economic activiity at the community level as the majority of child care dollars are spent locally and invested in people since the sector is labour intensive.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is joining with communities and organizations across Ontario in recognizing the valuable contributions made by child care workers and early childhood educators (ECEs) in building strong and supported children, families and communities.
The NDP promised to make child care more accessible and affordable during the election campaign, and they are making good on that promise — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
"Canada must act to address the historical wrongs that have been perpetrated against Indigenous people. Furthermore, we must act to stop the continued discrimination that exists." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President