Something Special Children’s Centre workers ratify new contract: ‘It was positive’

WATCH: CUPE daycare workers locked out of Kingston's Something Special Children's Centre have ratified a new contact, but it is unclear if the facility will reopen on Monday.

The union representing child-care workers locked out of the Something Special Children’s Centre (SSCC) in Kingston has reached a deal with the facility’s owners.

What was a loud and sometimes divisive labour dispute between CUPE daycare workers and the owners of the centre has now turned peaceful.

“We went to bargaining yesterday [Friday], spent all day there, and we felt like the employer listened to what we said the last time they invited us to bargaining,” says Jennifer Oliver, president of CUPE Local 3625.

“They came back with a better proposal.”

READ MORE: Kingston daycare temporarily closes in the midst of a labour dispute

Oliver, along with seven other employees, was locked out of the centre at the beginning of November after early contract negotiations broke down.

The main issue, according to Oliver, was the employers’ plan to claw back banked sick days.

Each employee receives 12 sick days a year.

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The tentative deal offered on Friday night has now been ratified by the union members.

Parents furious with Kingston daycare after child shocked
Parents furious with Kingston daycare after child shocked

“We got the protection we wanted in regards to sick time for our members,” Oliver said, “and I think everybody left happy.”

“It was positive.”

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Global News has confirmed the SSCC board also ratified the deal.

READ MORE: CUPE announces tentative deal reached in Kingston day-care lockout

“We want to go back and do our jobs — we miss our kids,” says Oliver. “We miss our families.

“Our hope is that we all will go back to work on Monday and resume as normal.”

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In an email statement to Global News late on Sunday, the centre said: “SSCC plans to reopen and welcome all families and employees back to the centre on Monday, November 18th.”