Broken promise reality for 33
Young man, there’s no need to feel
down. Unless, that is, you’re a current employee of the
Western Day Care centre.
The initial guarantee of continued employment for current
day care employees has crumbled as Western’s administration
has gone back on its promise of job security for current employees.
Instead, when the YMCA takes over this September, the 33 current
employees will be out of a job.
The assurance of continued employment given by Western administration
to the Western Day Care employees never gelled into a legally-binding
agreement. Nevertheless, it is disconcerting to think that
administration would assuage the concerns of two groups — the
parents of children enrolled at the day care and its employees — by
claiming it would be able to do something it has not been able
The initial impetus for building the new $2.7-million facility
that the YMCA will operate from was part of the negotiations
that took place between administration and Western’s
faculty association this past year. As part of the new agreement,
faculty members were promised 50 new spots in the centre primarily
reserved for their children, bringing the total number of children
cared for by the centre to 200.
Because of the service’s expansion — the current
day-care centre accomodates 150 children — the construction
of a new building was required. However, were it not for the
new agreement between administration and faculty, one has to
wonder if the day care would have been expanded at all and
whether current employees would have been able to keep their
jobs at their current wage. The answer to the latter question
seems to be in the affirmative.
Meanwhile, some parents are concerned with a potential decline
in the quality of service under the new YMCA contract. Regardless
of the restructuring and changeover, many parents were previously
unconcerned because staff members at the day care would have
been the same. Some of those parents are now concerned about
the disruption of the service’s continuity.
The committee responsible for selecting the YMCA to take over
operation of the day-care centre did so based on three broad
criteria: programming, staffing and financing. As such, it’s
likely that the quality of service will still be sufficient — Western
faculty members would most likely not want to support a larger
day care if it meant that quality would drop off dramatically.
Under the new contract, though, the YMCA employees will be
paid approximately 30 per cent less than current workers.
Though the deal may make economic sense for Western, it is
nevertheless regrettable that administration had to break its
word to 33 of its own employees. While it’s likely that
it was never administration’s intent to mislead its employees,
at the end of each day from now until September, a broken promise
is still the reality for the day care’s workers.