Roughly two-thirds of retail shifts fall outside of traditional daycare hours, and many UFCW Canada members are forced to use unlicensed daycare centres or even call-in sick to take care of their children. In light of these alarming facts, the UFCW Canada National Women’s Advisory Committee is undertaking several initiatives to help members with issues surrounding childcare.
First and foremost, UFCW Canada is encouraging all Local Unions and individual members to join the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) at a cost of $50 per local. The cost for individuals to join is $15. CCAAC is leading the fight for publicly-funded and accessible childcare in Canada by advocating a universal, high quality and affordable childcare system that meets the needs of children, families and communities. Local Unions can raise awareness of this campaign by inviting CCAAC representatives to speak at membership meetings and by distributing the Association’s Fact Sheets to UFCW Canada members.
The B.C. Child Care Coalition has also prepared two one-hour workshops – “Childcare 101” and “Childcare Is a Right” – that educate participants on creative ways to foster positive action on the issue. In most provinces, facilitators can either present the workshops directly to our members or train Local Union staff to provide them.
Lastly, UFCW Canada is calling on Local Unions and members to support the Childcare Is a Right project, which addresses Canada’s failure to improve access to childcare. The project is presently focused on the development of public education materials, as well as creating and delivering a brief to the United Nations Committee reviewing Canada’s compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Support can take the form of a financial donation or the distribution of Childcare Is a Right educational material to UFCW Canada members. As UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley notes, “by supporting these important initiatives, UFCW Canada can assist workers who face daily challenges in accessing child care.”