CUPW members talking child care

Photo: Lay Down & Look Up, Jason L. Parks

CUPW published an article about the Rethink Child Care campaign in the March 8th issue of The Rose. The union is encouraging members to share stories by hosting kitchen table discussions with friends and co-workers.

The issue of childcare is particularly difficult for CUPW members. Many work in plants doing shift work, for which few child care options are available. Many of our members work in rural communities where quality child care services are scarce or struggle to find adequate care for children with special needs. Furthermore, many letter carriers are affected by Canada Post’s modernization program, which has them working later into the evening, limiting their childcare options.

CUPW members’ child care stories

Glenroy, a tractor-trailor driver working out of the Gateway plant in Toronto, has a five-year old and a 19-month old child. “The youngest I used to take to regular day care but that was really, really, really expensive.” At $35 per day and on a single income (Glenroy’s partner is a university student), it was difficult money wise. Now, they’ve found some temporary, less-expensive care with a woman who is home on maternity leave.

Nicole, a Rural and Suburban Mail Carrier in Innisfil, Ontario, has had trouble finding care for her three-year old daughter, Sierra, who has special needs. “I had a hard time finding day care because a lot of people were afraid to take her.” Sierra has severe congenital hydrocephalus and is blind and can’t walk. Nicole tried to place Sierra in a YMCA childcare centre but there was no funding for an aide to work with her. It’s hard enough dealing with a child with special needs without having to worry about childcare. And no one can work without child care.