Home daycare workers, members of the Centrale des syndicats du Québec, are demanding provincial Families Minister Francine Charbonneau recognize the real number of hours they work.
Currently, home daycare workers are paid about $12 an hour during a 35-hour week.
However, they argue they actually work closer to 50 hours a week after taking into consideration peripheral tasks like grocery shopping and cleaning.
Cynthia Buckley, a home daycare worker and union affiliate secretary for the Suroît region southwest of Montreal, said the parents who use her daycare were surprised by her wages.
“They want us to be paid appropriately. When they found out we were only paid 35 hours a week, they were blown off their chairs, many of them. They said, ‘Oh my God, that’s ridiculous,’” Buckley said.
The 14,000 home daycare workers on strike Monday are asking for a wage increase to bring them to $15 an hour, which is more in line with what other daycare workers in the province earn.
Home daycare workers have been in negotiations with the government for more than a year.
They have been holding rotating strikes in different parts of the province since last week.
According to the union, Charbonneau cancelled a day of negotiations set for Monday.