SEIU 503 family child care workers have voted nearly unanimously to ratify their new contract with the State. The two-year-contract will significantly improve access to enhanced training and protect existing pay rates for over 4,000 license-exempt care providers.
“It has been a struggle,” said the team’s chair, Porta Moye of Portland. “We have been in bargaining since April. We kept on fighting, and did not get discouraged and it is so uplifting to win this contract. It means a lot to us because of the economy right now, with many people facing cuts and layoffs.”
The settlement, reached shortly after midnight October 4 after an extended final bargaining session, could lead to a 7% pay increase for providers who successfully complete a state-paid training that includes CPR and first aid, recognizing child abuse and neglect, and food handler’s certification.
The agreement also included a commitment by the state to invest up to $50,000 for items, including equipment and supplies, that support evidence-based best practices for home based child care. As funding allows, Providers may also qualify for up to $250 for equipment needed to meet health and safety standards. The prior contract expired June 30.
“I am so thankful our Child Care Bargaining Team was unified and fought for everything providers need,” Moye said. “The children are our number one priority, and with the new contract we have won a serious investment from the State. We are so glad the State is going to be working with us to develop materials and trainings needed to help promote early childhood education.”
Bargaining team members included Moye, Wanda Winne and Marvel Smith of Portland;, Molly Stafford and Renee Cripe of Roseburg , Larry Caird of Springfield, Kimberly Cole of Medford , Enrique Luna of Salem , Kassaundra Nichols of Baker City and Jennifer Schmidt of Riddle. SEIU 503 field coordinator Rebekah Tobin-Whittaker served as chief negotiator.