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DISTRICT OF MUSKOKA, Ont. – Children in Muskoka Family Focus and Children’s Place Daycare could be without their child care workers later this month as management of the daycare centres triggers a countdown to a possible lockout of their own workers, warned the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1813, representing 45 child care workers. 

“The consultant hired by management asked for a “No Board” with the Labour Board and took off on vacation without informing us or warning our members or the parents of a possible lockout of workers,” said Chris Sax, CUPE National Representative. “Triggering a service shutdown and then disappearing without a word is not what you expect from a child care centre that’s about caring and nurturing.” 

The early childhood educators, child care workers, cooks and housekeepers are responsible for 100 children in daycare, from infants to children up to 12 years old, in the District of Muskoka, including three licensed daycare centres (Bracebridge Public School, Bracebridge Children’s Centre and Gravenhurst Children’s Centre) and many drop-in centres across the Muskoka region. 

The workers have been trying to negotiate a fair deal since July of last year. Their contract expired on June 23, 2011. “We’re calling for a return to the bargaining table to reach a settlement so parents and children can count on the services that our members provide,” said Sax. “But we don’t know when that will take place considering that the consultant the centre hired left on vacation without the common courtesy of informing us of bargaining and mediation plans that affect children, parents and workers in our community.” Without a fair settlement, the workers could be locked out or be on the picket lines after the deadline of 12:01a.m., May 24, 2012. 

“We are urging parents to contact management of the daycare centres,” said Sax. “Management needs to be accountable for the actions they take that jeopardize public services that our community rely on.”


 For more information, please contact:

Chris Sax, CUPE National Representative, 705-716-0698
James Chai, CUPE Communications, 905-739-3999