It looks as if one of the decisions facing a new council in the
New Year will be the fate of the Junior Citizens Day Care that
operates out of the YMCA building in the downtown. Currently,
there are 120 spots with 22 employees who are municipal
employees because this day care is the only one owned by the
Because these are union positions, the wages are about 50%
higher than in the other private day care sites, which makes
this day care more expensive to operate. The subsidy for the
Junior Citizens Day Care Centre is $6,304 per child, compared to
$3,063 for non-city facilities. Staff has begun the process of
looking for expressions of interest from other private day care
operators to run the Junior Citizens Day Care centre.
Apparently the City can save $129,000 per year by closing the
centre and giving the operation to a private day care provider.
The number of day care spaces that will be lost by funding cuts
will be between 418 and 605. Therefore, the City Council is
facing a dilemma. We can't afford to see the number of day care
spaces in this city reduced.
Proposal To Maintain Status Quo
I will be proposing that the city immediately enter into a
partnership agreement with a private sector provider. The main
condition will be that they must use our current staff and pay
them the same rate as they are now getting paid. The city will
subsidize the difference in rate and in the meantime, we will be
transferring the employees to vacancies as they come up in some
other department. As our employees are transferred out of the
day care, the private provider will be able to hire another
person to fill the vacancy. Once all of our former employees are
transferred out, we will dissolve the partnership and allow the
private sector provider to take responsibility for the entire
operation. This whole process may take up to two years, but as
we begin saving from the extra subsidy in wages, that money can
be used to fund other spaces in the city.
This will satisfy the unions since no one is going to lose their
jobs or their salary levels and it will allow us to maintain the
Junior Citizen Day Care services to the parents.
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