The B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) will be seeking a strike mandate from 160 Early Childhood Educators at The University of British Columbia (UBC) Child Care Services after negotiations broke down on November 28.
BCGEU childcare professionals at UBC are seeking an improved wage scale that reflects UBC Child Care Services role as a professional body of the University. “Quality childcare services help UBC recruit and retain outstanding faculty and staff. This reality must be reflected in the pay scales for its Early Childhood Educators,” says BCGEU UBC Childcare Services Bargaining Chair Tom Kertes.
“Wages must reflect the skills, training and value provided by UBC Early Childhood Educators, given that they are college trained and government certified professionals,” says BCGEU Local 303 Chairperson Andrea Duncan. Studies suggest that over 80 percent of our social, emotional and cognitive skills are developed under the age of six.
“UBC Early Childhood Educators are seeking wage parity. Improved wages will promote wage parity in the childcare sector that is 95 percent staffed by women. We have a vision at UBC Childcare of reaching equitable wages by March 8, 2013 – International Womens Day,” explains Kertes. Childcare services also open doors for women students seeking education and employment opportunities at UBC.
“Many parents send their application to UBC Child Care Services when they first conceive, in the hope that their child will eventually be admitted years later. What makes UBC Child Care special is the dedication and patience of BCGEU early childhood educators who bring out the best in the kids they care for,” says Duncan.
BCGEU will seek a strike mandate from UBC Childcare members in a vote scheduled to start at a meeting on December 11, 2012. Balloting will close seven days later.
UBC Child Care Services members are prepared to reach out to the public to demonstrate widespread community support for the continued provision of quality child care for faculty, staff, and students at the University.
UBC Child Care Services manages about 342 spaces for children aged infant to 12 years old. All staff are certified Early Childhood Educators.