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Public pensions for the private sector

NDP government announced it will provide a pension plan for all daycare staff in the province of Manitoba


 
Public pensions for the private sector

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Pensions and toddlers don’t often go together. They do now in Manitoba. Last week, the NDP government announced it will provide a pension plan for all daycare staff in the province. An estimated 7,000 workers will qualify, including those who offer child care out of their home. It’s proving a controversial move.

The new $6.6-million-a-year policy creates a defined-contribution pension plan for staff working at privately run non-profit child care centres. Payments will be made to retroactively recognize up to 10 years service. For home-based daycares, the government will contribute up to $1,700 a year to the owner’s RRSP. All this is in addition to increases in provincial wage subsidies over the past decade that have pushed starting salaries for daycare workers in the province to $32,000.

“It’s starting to look like a real career,” says Martha Friendly, co-ordinator of the Childcare Resource and Research Unit at the University of Toronto and a frequent commentator on national daycare policy. While Manitoba’s moves mirror policies already in existence in Quebec, Friendly sees a hopeful trend toward better daycare compensation that will improve staff retention at daycare centres and lead to better care for children.

Not everyone is convinced a taxpayer-funded pension for workers outside the public sector is a good idea. Or affordable. Colin Craig, Prairie director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, sees the issue from the perspective of Manitoba’s $500-million deficit. “There’s nothing special about daycare workers,” Craig says. “It seems bizarre that the province would be borrowing money to pay for their pensions.” As for the precedent this sets, Craig asks: “What about pensions for convenience store workers? Why are we ignoring them?”


 

Public pensions for the private sector

  1. Maclean’s. Consistent!

    While the magazine hasn’t provided one word of coverage to the full-day kindergarten programs that made headlines last month and while Inkless continues to mislead about Harper’s daycare policies v.s. Martin’s and while Bill Gates on Education is front-page while McGuinty on Education doesn’t even make the footntes and while MacLean’s calls itself a ‘National’ newsmagazine but cites US experts whenever it writes about Education — we have THIS. And THIS is all we have!

    To the writer (who by-the-by is employed by The Institute for Family and Childcare). Read THIS: http://manitoba.cupe.ca/www/RESPECT_campaign/a4c1

    And to all the MacLean’s Regulars. Do we like this guy?
    http://www.imfcanada.org/Default.aspx?go=article&…

    The childcare workforce is undergoing transformation after decades of lobbying. Governments are initiating many of the positive changes that will improve the lives of countless workers, children and families. But the Media — they still think daycare is a political football. Women voters won’t stand for that anymore. Wise up!

  2. "Nothing special" about daycare workers? Spending 45 hour (or more) a week helping you raise your kids is on a par with selling junk at the corner store? We must acknowledge that the quality of childcare workers is of the utmost importance for our culture. Given what we know about the development of infant personality, we cannot continue to treat those who are responsible for its development as if we don't value what they do. The kids in question are the future of governance on this planet. I personally would prefer that 'care' was taken with their development.

    • What about the parents – is there still such a thing as parenting? or is the state now responsible to raise children and maybe even teach them such things as manners, behavior, morality, etc. Do they recognize the parents ? Do parents still have any responsibility – if things go wrong such as juvenile delinguincy – can they now sue the state??? Will the Prime minister a generation from now have to issue a public apology (i.e. as per aboriginals) ?

  3. I think that the Canadian Taxpayers Federation are right to be concerned about taking on new social programmes in an era of record budget deficits. But Colin Craig may have hit on something there. Why not have provincial pension plans for people like the cashiers at 7/11? The majority of women in Canada have jobs outside the home, and many of them are waitresses and cashiers at service stations and at convenience stores. Many of them also work in creches.

    However, if you look to the south of Point Pelee, you will see how the Republicans have gutted the welfare system in the US. If you Liberals and New Democrats think that it can't happen in Canada, think again. I just hope that the CTF doesn't simply want to turn Canada into a carbon copy of the US with low taxes for the wealthy and an abominable level of social services for everyone else.

    • That's basically their goal.

  4. Market forces already pay them for the value they provide, artificially supporting this industry will lead to unintended consequences such as more kids in government care, a worse outcome for the kids.

    If taxes were lower, people would have more choice about how to raise their children, burdening the populace with more taxes and government interference results in a declining birthrate which presents a problem for the future of Canada.

  5. Better to do TFSA. In your in your name, in your account, in your control so you can define your retirement date and no screw ups in the future.

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