With thanks to reader Elle:
IMPORTANT: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY
Dear Parents, prescription
Let us be clear. The letter sent out by Kirsten Stern and Adina Busner contains quite a number of inaccuracies if not falsehoods.
The Conciliation process is one that the union requested to help move negotiations forward. We believe this forum would provide an opportunity for both sides to present their issues, find and in the spirit of fairness, find the middle ground that meets the concerns of both sides. This has not been the case. Management has taken the position to continuously warn and threaten that unless the educators agree to a contract that sees their salaries and working conditions worsen, the CPE will lock out the educators and prevent parents’ access to childcare services.
There is no unstable environment and not once has an educator not shown up for work; they have done their job diligently, and cared for your children. The decision to place parents in a situation where they are stranded and without a place for their children is solely the decision of management.
And just who does management represent? The CPE are supposed to be run by a parent board and represent the interests of all parents. Yet a very strange arrangement seems to exist between the CPE Y and the YM-YWHA. In a response to just such an inquiry I would share with you a direct quote from a letter Marlene Jennings, Executive Director of the YM-YWHA sent to us.
“With regards to Mrs. Barbara Adler, she is indeed a senior Director with the YM-YWHA and as such is part of my Executive Staff. Her responsibilities include Early Childhood/Pre-School Services and she reports to me for these matters.” and “Mrs. Adler is responsible for administering the YM-YWHA management contract with the CPE du Y.”
Whose interests are being served by the decision making process of managements negotiation team? Why does the CPE du Y management continuously refer to significant losses when in fact they had a $50,000 surplus? Where does this money go?
There is not only one issue that separates the parties but three. They are as follows:
1. Five days of salary removed from educators in the 2011-2012 calendar years. The union proposed a non financial solution to these days by crediting educators extra days of vacation to be taken on a rotation basis during times when staffing requirements are reduced because of low attendance of students during holiday time.
2. Over the next 7 years there are 21 days when the Jewish holidays fall out during the week. That amounts to approximately 3 days per year if we were to sign the 7 year union proposed term for the collective agreement. The cost of this is approximately $10,000 per year.
3. During the last Collective Agreement negotiations a severance clause was agreed upon because there was no government pension plan for educators till the year 2003. Management wants to completely remove this clause. The union agrees to meet in the middle and limit the plan to the long serving educators it was intended to serve who did not have a chance to contribute to a pension plan for many years and then let the agreement expire. A fair compromise.
As you can see there is a simple and straight forward solution that would allow these negotiations to conclude and prevent the management lock out that will take away childcare services from your children.
In comparison, the union has just concluded negotiations with a newly ratified Collective Agreement with the CPE CCJ. Both management and the union were able to negotiate constructively from the exact same Collective Agreement that is the basis of negotiations at the CPE du Y. Given that government funding to all CPE’s is exactly the same how is it once again possible for management to claim fiscal issues as the basis of their position?
The union is ready and willing to find a quick solution and come to a fair agreement that recognizes the contributions educators make and affirms the dedication and care they have for the children in their classrooms.
This is not the time for posturing but the time to conclude an agreement.