Published: July 22, 2019

After years with little support for the state, child care providers finally see progress on wages and enrollment. 

A mother has her child sitting on her lap while she teaches the child to tie a shoe.

Child care providers in our union reached a tentative agreement (TA) last week on a new contract, which includes a 5% raise for everyone, and better rates for rural providers whose income had fallen behind in recent years.

Child care providers in Oregon provide an incredibly important service to working families. The program is known as a job multiplier because it creates work for the provider while also freeing up parents, who otherwise couldn’t afford child care, to go to work.

The details of the new agreement were negotiated earlier this year, but last week’s “TA” is the most significant step in the process. Next, SEIU members in the child care bargaining unit will vote to ratify their new contract and it will go into effect.

Earlier this year our Union surveyed child care workers and the responses were clear and consistent. Providers across the state have not been supported at the most basic level. Our goal in bargaining was to push the state to show respect for this work and support the people who do it. In addition to wage increases, the contract includes provisions to improve training standards, reimburse workers for equipment updates, update the enrollment process, and improve access for Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese speakers.

We congratulate bargaining team members Jennifer Schmidt, Pamala Harris and Natalie Jackson for their hard work.

Here are the highlights from the new contract:

Better wages

  • All providers will receive a 5% cost of living increase effective January 1, 2019.
  • Providers in Area C (rural areas) will move to the higher rate scale for Area B, resulting in an average increase of 14%.

Improvements on provider orientations and trainings

  • Online and in-person orientations will be offered in English, Spanish. Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese. If an online orientation is not offered in one of the required five languages, alternatives will be offered.
  • Pre-listing online orientation to support providers navigating the system of enrollment to become approved license exempt providers.
  • Recruitment and retention workgroup to discuss retention of providers and how providers may serve ERDC families

Safety & Quality Enhancement

  • Reimbursed for up to $250 for any cost of equipment’s or repairs each year that providers can access for cost incurred during the previous 3 months.

Reimbursements for state requirements & trainings

  • The state will pay for non-college credit community trainings, workshops, seminars and conferences and up to $300 for credit classes.  This means any new training requirements by the state will be reimbursable.
  • Providers will get reimbursed for the cost of water testing requirements.

Click here to read the full Tentative Agreement Summary (English and Spanish)