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Kingston child care workers picketing, locked out of Something Special Children’s Centre

Members of Local 3625 picketing outside Something Special Children's Centre in Kingston.  .
Members of Local 3625 picketing outside Something Special Children's Centre in Kingston. . Global News

Members of Local 3625 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees, who work as child care workers at Something Special Children’s Centre, have been picketing outside this week after being locked out of their workplace.

According to the union, the lockout came after they rejected the company’s latest contract offer late last week.

Jennifer Oliver, who is the local union’s president, says the main issue for the child care workers is the company’s plan to claw back protection for workers who experience serious injuries and illness.

READ MORE: Unifor escalating strike action after talks between union, provincial government fail

“We’ve been going back and forth bargaining with them,” Oliver said. “They are just saying ‘here is our offer’ and that’s it.”

“We don’t want to be out walking a picket line — we would rather be doing our jobs — but what they are trying to force us to accept will leave workers unprotected and will compromise the service we provide,” Oliver continued.

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“We can’t allow this to happen.”

Ontario university students hold 1-day strike
Ontario university students hold 1-day strike

However, one of the members of the Board of Directors for Something Special Children’s Centre, Bryan Elliott, told Global News that CUPE has told the board that they will not bargain any concessions with regards to sick times.

“Despite the fact that what we are proposing actually pays out unused sick time to all workers, they will not entertain any changes to the bargaining collective agreement,” Elliott said.

READ MORE: Child-care subsidies: What parents in every province need to know

Elliott says that under the new collective agreement they are proposing, workers retain 12 sick days along with personal emergency leave and that they would not ask workers to come into work while ill.

Meanwhile, the workers say they’ll continue to picket outside the daycare and are planning to hold a larger rally on Friday at noon.