ECE Teachers say they deserve a spot on Minister's 'Working Group'

    HALIFAX, Nov. 15 /CNW/ - The credibility of a so-called 'Early Learning
and Child Care Working Group' set up by the Minister of Community Services is
being called into question by ECE Teachers who are not represented in the
    CUPE, the largest child care union in Nova Scotia, has written a letter
to Virginia O'Connell, Director, Early Childhood Development Services
expressing its disappointment in the department's decision not to allow
representation from ECE Teachers in the group.
    CUPE Local 4745 President Lynn Howes, who has worked in the sector for
more than 25 years, says, "At a meeting we had with the department in April of
this year, we were given a commitment from Minister Streatch that she would
'consider our request' for representation.
    "We actually had our hopes up for a brief moment that someone in
government might finally be willing to listen to what we have to say about how
early childhood education is delivered in Nova Scotia," says Howes.
    "It is regrettable, to say the least, that Minister Streatch does not see
the need to have frontline workers - the very people who deliver early
childhood education services across the province - given a position, and a
voice, on this important body," she says.
    "And for the record," says Howes, "we do not consider having
representation from centre directors, our bosses, as fulfilling this role. Nor
do we see having a representative from Child Care Connections Nova Scotia
(CCCNS) as being in any way 'representative of the sector', as has been
claimed by at least the last two Ministers of Community Services."
    In the letter sent today to O'Connell, the CUPE local president says, "We
are left only to conclude from your decision that statements from various
senior members of your Department about 'valuing and respecting the work that
ECE teachers do in delivering education and care to children is nothing more
than lip service."

For further information:

For further information: Lynn Howes, President, CUPE Local 4745, (902)
455-5494; John McCracken, CUPE Communications Rep., (902) 455-4180 (o)

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Canadian Union of Public Employees - Atlantic Region

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