BCGEU adds new community social services members around B.C.

VANCOUVER, April 9 /CNW/ - Kaatza child care in Lake Cowichan is one of the newest early childhood education facilities to join the BCGEU. The facility was certified in late February, adding 12 new union members.

Kaatza Child Care is a non-profit, group early learning and child care centre. It offers programs for children from newborns to school age. The centre opened in 1974.

Early childhood educator and BCGEU member, Wendy Fetchko, is delighted Kaatza Child Care has joined the BCGEU. "We have a staff of experienced early childhood educators who've endured the roller coaster ride of wages and benefits going up and down as government funding comes and goes," she said. "We are happy to join the campaign by the BCGEU to organize all child care centres in B.C."

Fetchko is encouraging other early childhood educators to join. "We need to have one voice when lobbying the government for the funding support that is so important to continue offering our programs to the preschool children of the province and the BCGEU has the resources and expertise in organizing us and being that voice for us," she said.

Negotiations on a first contract with Kaatza Child Care will begin later this year.

The BCGEU has also recently certified community social services workers at the Comox Valley Child Care Centre, the Association Advocating for Women and Children (AWAC) in Prince George, the Northern John Howard Society in Prince George and the Vancouver Society of Children's Centres.

"Every B.C. community depends on community social services; services that are as vital as health and education. I'm thrilled the BCGEU is continuing to add new members determined to see these important services continue to be delivered to the British Columbians who pay for them," said James Cavalluzzo, BCGEU component chair for community social services workers.

SOURCE B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union

For further information: For further information: BCGEU Communications, (604) 291-9611

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