CUPE: Something Special Children’s Centre to close during lockout

According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3625, Something Special Children’s Centre “announced it will close without reason or a timeline for reopening.”

The Local 3625 sent out a media release on the afternoon of Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, outlining that the eight childcare workers, who have been locked out of their workplace, are “surprised” by their employer’s decision.

“It came as a bit of a surprise to us considering they made the announcement right after we came out of our most productive day of bargaining,” said Jen Oliver, president CUPE Local 3625. “But, then again, it is consistent with how aggressive they have been in bargaining all along. It shows a complete disregard for the parents and children who can’t find alternative child care during this lockout.”

The two parties met at the negotiating table on the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 8, 2019 for “their first negotiations since Something Special locked out the nine women of CUPE 3625 in order to force them to accept the elimination of a sick bank that workers use in situations of serious injury or illness,” the union said in the release.

“After months of getting presented the same proposal over and over again, it finally feels like we are actually bargaining for the first time,” Oliver said. “We committed to getting back to the table as soon as we could, so we were feeling optimistic about that. We’re not sure of the motivation for the closure.”

The CUPE workers at Something Special Children’s Centre will continue to picket outside of the Centre at 10 Chapman Street in downtown Kingston. The workers have been locked out since Friday, Nov. 1, 2019.

“It doesn’t change too much for us. We will stay out here until we reach a fair deal. It’s parents and children who will be negatively impacted by this decision,” said Oliver.

Something Special Children’s Centre was not immediately available for comment. We will update this article as more information becomes available.

For Kingstonist’s coverage of Friday’s rally, click here.

For Kingstonist’s coverage of the CUPE workers’ side of the issue, click here.

For our coverage of Something Special Children’s Centre’s response and explanation of the strike action, click here.

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