In Unanimous Vote, Employees at Ottawa’s Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre Certify Union
Child Care Centre Providing Essential Service to the University of Ottawa and Surrounding Community Looks Forward to Working with Newly-Elected Board of Directors
Ottawa, ON - A unionization bid by staff at Garderie Bernadette Child Care Centre (GBCCC) has received formal certification from the Ontario Labour Relations Board today, following a unanimous (18/18) vote from November.
The daycare centre, which has been providing an essential service to the University of Ottawa and its surrounding communities since 1988, now has a legal obligation to bargain in good faith with the union.
Thus far, the Board of Directors of the GBCCC has refused to recognize the union voluntarily, nor accept or discuss any of the union's policy proposals. At the GBCCC Annual General Meeting yesterday -- the evening of the day that the certificate was awarded -- the former Board of Directors resigned and a new Board was elected. The union expresses its hopes that this Board may lead to a new, healthier relationship between the parties moving forward.
"Our efforts to engage the centre's Board of Directors in a relationship of mutual respect and collaboration was continuously rejected, so we chose to exercise our rights and form a board certified union. It is our mission to be treated as valued and respected professionals whose knowledge and expertise is taken into account when making decisions that affect the working conditions of the staff and the education of the children. We hope to create a transparent, collaborative, and democratic workplace with the help of the Board of Directors going forward." — Lauren Wing, Registered Early Childhood Educator
"The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be one of the most challenging times in the centre's history. Despite having an exponential increase in our workload since reopening in July of 2020, we're more resolved than ever to provide great childcare." — Britt Griffith, Registered Early Childhood Educator
"Everyone has worked so hard and everyone is tired. But everyone cares so much about each other and the children and families at our centre. There have been a lot of challenges, but we have met those challenges by working together to fight for what we deserve and to make our centre the best that it can be." — Britt Griffith, Registered Early Childhood Educator
"The members of the Bernadette Workers Union have been so grateful for all the external support that was received during this process. We appreciate all of the GBCCC parents who reached out to us in solidarity as well as organizers with the Canadian regional organizing committee and Ottawa-Outaouais branch of the IWW. We also congratulate the incoming Board of Directors elected last night, following yesterday's resignations. We thank them so much for their support and we are looking forward to a positive working relationship with them." — Jela Vojnovic, Registered Early Childhood Educator
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is a labor union representing nearly 9,000 workers across North America. Established in 1905, the IWW is known for its high standards of democracy, transparency, multinationalism, and active use of the right to strike.