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Ottawa francophone daycare strike continues as members reject tentative agreement

L'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens called for a strike for CAP local union 203 beginning on Nov. 7, demanding better working conditions and pay for education workers. (AEFO handout) L'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens called for a strike for CAP local union 203 beginning on Nov. 7, demanding better working conditions and pay for education workers. (AEFO handout)
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A month-long closure of four francophone daycare centres in Ottawa will continue after union members rejected a tentative agreement to end an education worker strike.

On Saturday, members represented by l'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) rejected the tentative agreement by a vote of 57 per cent. The strike, which is entering its second month, has closed four francophone daycare centres and some services run by the Centre d'appui et de prevention (Le CAP).

The organization runs a number of services in the city for francophone families facing mental health, addiction and disabilities, including three daycare centres in Vanier and Sandy Hill.

Le CAP local union 203 has been has been on strike since Nov. 7. The vote was held on Friday and Saturday.

In a news release in French, the AEFO said they recognize the continued strike will be difficult for families, but are determined to find a reasonable agreement.

“Members are sending a clear message to their employer that this agreement in principle is not sufficiently improved," said Anne Vinet-Roy, president of the AEFO.

"Although the AEFO has recommended that members vote in favor of this agreement, we will not give up and we will continue to support them to obtain fairness, justice and respect."

Le Cap has previously said it was optimistic in the bargaining process and expressed its deep disappointment with the union's decision.

"Le Cap is disappointed by this turn of events and, at the same time, a little perplexed as to the reasons which led to this result," the organization said in a news release.

"The offer presented contained significant increases and was designed to meet the vast majority of demands and expectations of unionized staff. Le CAP worked hard to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. At this stage, we are actively committed to understanding the reasons for this refusal and to look for solutions to move forward."

The union says it is seeking better pay and benefits for workers, who have been without a collective agreement since March 31, 2021.

“We will spare no effort to continue to demand a salary aligned with the cost of living and respectable social benefits," said Vinet-Roy. "We are reaching out to CAP to work with us to find a solution."

There are no details on when bargaining will continue.

A status of services affected by the strike is available on Le Cap's website

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