June 19, 2014 5:55 pm

Durham daycares close as public sector workers go on strike

WATCH: Durham Region public sector workers on the picket line on Thursday morning

OSHAWA, Ont. – Many of the 1,600 public sector workers in Durham Region east of Toronto are now on strike.

The closed centres are:

  • Pickering Child Care Centre
  • Whitby Child Care Centre
  • Gibb Street Child Care Centre
  • Lakewood Child Care Centre
  • Ajax Child Care Centre
  • Edna Thomson Child Care Centre

CUPE Local 1764 posted a message on its website just after 1 a.m. Thursday stating that negotiations “have broken down once again” and that a walkout would begin at 6 a.m.

Workers represented by the union include paramedics, court staff, income support, child caregivers, health inspectors and others.

There are contingency plans in place to keep some services running to avoid major disruptions to the public.

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Paramedics will continue to provide essential services, while services such as long-term care, pre-scheduled provincial court matters and curbside waste collection will continue.

But many people needing child care will have to make other plans as six of the region’s seven directly operated childcare centres will be closed since provincial child-to-caregiver ratios cannot be met.

One of the key sticking points in negotiations is increases in benefits. The union has said the increases offered are nowhere near those which management received after the last contract was ratified.

The union says Durham Region’s wage offer is also unacceptable.

The workers have been without a contract since it expired on March 31.

 

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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