To all early childhood educators working in child care centres.
We have identified for government two practical steps that are within your power to implement and each would lead to a meaningful reduction in the risk you face and the risk faced by the children in your care.
Put pressure on our provincial government! Exercise your rights and responsibilities under the Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act by taking the following steps.
STEP 1: Report your concerns to your director
The Occupational Health and Safety Act Section 17(a) lays out the steps to follow when you have concerns for your safety. We recommend that you make your complaint in writing and request a response. Copy the union in your correspondence by adding our email address email@example.com. You can encourage your director to pass along your concerns to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development through your consultant.
“17(a) Where an employee believes that any condition, device, equipment, machine, material or thing or any aspect of the workplace is or may be dangerous to the employee’s health or safety or that of any other person at the workplace, the employee shall (a) immediately report it to a supervisor.
STEP 2: Follow up
If the concern you report is not remedied to your satisfaction, you have the right under Section 17(b) to report your concern to the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee. The joint committee has the ability to make recommendations to the employer on measures to improve workplace health and safety. This should be done in writing and, please copy the union (firstname.lastname@example.org) when forwarding your concerns to any level.
If your concerns remain unsatisfied after being addressed by the Committee, you have the right under section 17(c) to report your concern to the OH&S Division of the Department of Labour and Advanced Education at 1-800-952-2687 or email@example.com.
17(b) where the matter is not remedied to the employee’s satisfaction, report it to the committee or the representative, if any; and 17(c) where the matter is not remedied to the employee’s satisfaction after the employee reports in accordance with clauses (a) and (b), report it to the Division.
The collective pressure of every early childhood educator in this province making their concerns heard to their employer and exercising their rights under the OH&S Act, will help demonstrate the seriousness of the situation and the need for immediate action to ensure the safety of children and staff across the child care sector.
A letter has been sent to Minister Mombourquette today on behalf of our members and a news release will be published this afternoon. Please check the website for news releases at ns.cupe.ca.
Please send any questions or concerns to your local president or unit vice-president. More info is available on the CUPE Nova Scotia website at ns.cupe.ca.