Working in ECEC

Josée Morin

Josée Morin: Coordinator, School-Age Child Care Program, École Saint-David, Victoriaville, Québec; President, Syndicat du soutien scolaire des Bois-Francs (CSN) [union representing support staff]

As the supervisor of a school-age child care centre in Victoriaville, and the president of a 600-member union of school-age child care workers, Josée Morin has a daily opportunity to “give something beautiful and useful to a child or another worker.”

Morin, who has an Early Childhood Education diploma from Collège de Sherbrooke, got her first job in child care in 1992. A year later, at 21, she was elected president of her regional union.

“I discovered another part of the job by being union president: labour law, the collective agreement, the power that comes from acting together and how to help people improve their working conditions. I loved it.”

After moving to Victoriaville, she became the supervisor of school-age child care at École Saint-David and was elected union president in 2001.

She works in the school age program two days a week (another worker takes over the remaining three days), making sure the children are accounted for and that health and safety standards are met. She does the budget and issues the paycheques, liaises with parents, teachers, the principal and school psychologist, organizes programs and events, orders and shops for supplies, and oversees admissions. She is also on the floor with the children at lunch time and during school holidays.

As union president, she monitors the collective agreement, organizes meetings, produces user-friendly material on the collective agreement’s provisions, sits on the local negotiating committee and represents workers in meetings with management.

Her biggest challenge is balancing the triple role of being a single parent, worker and union activist. But she enjoys the variety. “Every day is different. I am providing leadership. I love the teamwork, facilitating, coordinating, the financial side, office work and child care. I don’t like routine.”