Consult first, act later

Staff ~ The Telegram
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Recently, your newspaper reported on a conversation in the legislature between Youth and Family Services Minister Joan Burke and Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones about wage supplements for childcare workers ("Lack of daycare spaces at 'crisis level,' say Liberals," June 17).

The minister alluded to a suggestion from centre owners that the current system of providing those subsidies directly to the workers should be changed so the operators would receive the money.

Letters to the editor -

Recently, your newspaper reported on a conversation in the legislature between Youth and Family Services Minister Joan Burke and Liberal Leader Yvonne Jones about wage supplements for childcare workers ("Lack of daycare spaces at 'crisis level,' say Liberals," June 17).

The minister alluded to a suggestion from centre owners that the current system of providing those subsidies directly to the workers should be changed so the operators would receive the money.

As the union representing child-care workers at two St. John's centres, we would suggest that the current model is working well and should not be changed.

CUPE, which represents staff at Daybreak Parent Child Centre (Local 3017) and MUN Campus Childcare (Local 4554-01), is wondering why the funder would want to re-invent the wheel on something that is working quite well.

In recent years, there was a confidential review carried out on the wage supplement and, before government makes changes, they should again hold confidential consultations with those who receive the supplements to see what they think about possible changes in delivery.

The current process involves certified ECEs making quarterly applications, with the employer having to verify and sign off on the hours worked.

Payments are then made on a quarterly basis. As the largest child-care union in Canada, we know that in other provinces there has been much concern over delivery of the monies when it has gone through the employers.

In fact, the growing trend across the country is to extend early learning programs within education departments, where funding is stable and wages are relatively high.

In part, this is to address the need for such public services and in part this to address the dire recruitment and retention problems in the sector. In short, governments across the country are struggling to keep workers in this sector.

In some provinces, a percentage of monies intended for ECEs has been withheld by the employer as an administrative fee and in other cases withheld to go towards professional development at the employers' discretion.

While no one is suggesting that would happen in Newfoundland and Labrador, there are lessons here to be learned.

Wanda Power

CUPE national representative

St. John's

Organizations: CUPE, Youth and Family Services, Daybreak Parent Child Centre

Geographic location: St. John's, Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • CURIOUS
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    CONSULT FIRST ACT LATER IS RIGHT.I DON T KNOW WHY ANY PRIVATE OWNER WOULD WILLIINGLY TAKE ON THE ADMINISTRATION OF THIS UNLESS THEY EXPECTED SOMETHING IN RETURN...SOME OF THESE CENTRES HAVE 100 STAFF IN THE LARGER NAMED CENTRES. IT WOULD NOT BENEFIT RECRUITMENT BECAUSE THOSE ECE'S ENTITLED ALREADY MEET THE CRITERIA. THIS IS JUST A WAY FOR OWNERS TO SAY THEY ARE PAYING MORE....WHY DON'T THEY ACTUALLY DO THAT!IF GOV'T IS REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SYSTEM THEY SHOULD AVOID THIS OFFER . WE ARE ALREADY AT THE MERCY OF THESE OWNERS AND THIS IS JUST ANOTHER WAY TO FILL THE PROFIT POCKETS IF YOU ASK ME!!!

  • Eugene
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Concessions wrung out of employers in this province usually get taken back by hook or by crook. Look at the fact that government offloaded well-paying respite jobs to private sector agencies that have been skimming profits off the backs of underpaid workers ever since. This is a WAGE subsidy, it should be in the hands of the wage-earners, period.

  • Calvin
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Yeah, this would be a huge mistake by government. Has anyone making these decisions ever worked as an ECE? I doubt it. They have no idea what the daycare owners are all about if you ask me, which is making money first and providing good childcare second. My wife has worked at 2 daycares in town, and we have had our child in daycare, and the daycare owners we have been involved with are more concerned with making money than they are with the childcare being provided by their centres. That may sound cold, or ignorant, but it is true. Sending staff home early so they dont have to pay them, keeping stuff below full time hours so that they dont have to provide a healthcare option for workers, and cutting costs in food provided for children are a few examples we have encountered concerning the greediness of childcare providers in this town. Give this money to the daycare owners, and one way or another the workers will not see it.