Daycare workers vote overwhelmingly in favor of strike action

More than a thousand daycare educators in Montral and Laval voted overwhelmingly to give their union a mandate for a general, unlimited strike.

They voted 91 per cent in favor of strike action at a one-day general assembly held at the Palais des Congrès.

The workers have been without a contract since 2015, and they say the pace of contract talks has not been satisfactory.

They had held several one- and two-day strikes since then, including two one-day strikes last month, in an effort to show their resolve.

The affected workers belong to the Provincial Employers Association of Daycares (APNCPE), which did not ratify an agreement made last year between other CPE daycare workers and the family ministry.

The main sticking point in the talks in scheduling, and when their employer can decide they are not needed to work for the day. Employers are claiming the right to call their workers in the morning to tell them not to come in that day if several children are absent. In that instance, they wouldn't get paid for the day.

Employers want to be able to call employees in the morning and tell them not to come into work that day -- and consequently not pay those employees -- if several children are absent.

"They want to cut hours whenever, so when you are supposed to be working, for example 40 hours a week and you go down to 30 or 28, how can you manage your finances not knowing how many hours a week you will do?" said union negotiator Tania Valdez.

The two sides in the dispute are scheduled to return to the bargaining table next month.