Something Special Children’s Centre resumes regular operations

Something Special Children’s Centre at the corner of Queen and Chapman Streets reopened its doors on the morning of Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 and is resuming regular operations after an agreement was reached between the childcare facility and CUPE Local 3625. Photo by Cris Vilela.

It was a happy morning for those at Something Special Children’s Centre and the families that attend the facility as regular operations resumed.

After reaching a tentative agreement on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3625 voted to ratify that agreement over the weekend. As such, Something Special Children’s Centre (SSCC), which had ceased operation on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, reopened on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019. This ended the two-week long lockout of unionized workers at the facility, where the CUPE workers and the childcare centre had been negotiating an agreement. According to the Local 3625, the issues the employer and the unionized workers were negotiating centred mainly around the workers’ health benefits and sick day pay.

“We are pleased to have finally reached an agreement with CUPE,” said Kate Lussier-Purdy, President of the Board of Directors at SSCC. “The volunteers on our Board have worked tirelessly in this process, and we are glad to be able to get back to focusing our efforts toward providing exceptional childcare for our families.”

Those with SSCC expressed gratitude for “the patience and cooperation of our families, as well as appreciation to the many licensed childcare centres throughout Kingston that welcomed families after the Centre’s temporary closure on November 11.”

Update (Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019)
According to the Board of Directors with SSCC, the following are some key highlights of the agreement struck between the two parties:

  • The agreement gives employees the same number of sick days (12) that they were currently getting.
  • The agreement gives strong protection and insurance in cases of short term sickness or injury, regardless of tenure (in contrast, sick banks only protected longer-term employees with large banks).
  • The agreement protects the long-term financial stability of the centre.

Kingstonist has reached out to CUPE Local 3625 for details of the agreement. As of Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, no information has been provided by the union. We will update this article as more information becomes available.

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