Tunney’s Daycare will stay open thanks to a vigorous campaign to stop the imposition of a big rent hike by the federal government. The bilingual child care centre, located in a federal building in Ottawa, has been open since 1988 and provides daycare for 49 children.
“This victory demonstrates what can be achieved when parents and federal public service unions work together but there is still more to be done,” said PSAC National President Robyn Benson.
Unions fight for child care spaces
PSAC and the other 16 federal public service unions wrote to Treasury Board Scott Brison in late May to request a rent freeze for child care centres located in federal buildings across the country.
While the situation at Tunney’s Pasture has been resolved at least until 2019, the child care centre at Montreal’s Guy Favreau Complex is still facing a large rental increase and is still under threat of closure. Another centre in Ottawa, Tupper Tots, has already closed.
“Treasury Board has a long-standing policy that is intended to make workplace child care more accessible to federal government employees. PSAC fought hard to win that policy so we’re not going to sit back and watch the closure of vibrant and well-used centres now or down the road,” said Benson.
Child care at the bargaining table
PSAC has tabled a proposal in bargaining with Treasury Board, Parks Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for a joint union-employer committee to address the child care needs of federal government employees.
“The number of child care centres in federal workplaces has shrunk over time while the need for parental supports is greater than ever”, said Benson. “The Liberals promised in the last election that they would work to make child care more accessible and affordable for all parents and we are going to hold them to that commitment.”