The Department of Education is now involved in the bargaining process to facilitate meetings with employer representatives Municipal Association Victorian (MAV) and Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) around workload and salaries.
Some good progress has been made, with employers particularly sympathetic to the issue of educator salaries. However, while ELAA has engaged with some of our workload claims, including time for Educational Leader and Nominated Supervisor, MAV has still not adequately addressed our workload issues.
Our objective is to achieve agreement outcomes that are largely identical across the two agreements, to ensure fairness and consistency throughout the early childhood profession.
The AEU’s two key goals are:
- achieving salaries and conditions for teachers, educators and preschool field officers (PSFOs) that values your important work
- attracting and retaining an additional 6,000 employees into our profession to deliver three year-old kindergarten.
Early childhood educators get paid up to 35% less than a primary school teacher’s aide, even though they do similar work. At times their wages have even dropped below the minimum award rate.
Premier Andrews has committed to providing kindergarten to every Victorian three-year-old by 2022.
Despite the parties’ ongoing efforts, we remain concerned about the length of time it is taking to resolve the critical issues of workload and salaries. Early childhood teachers, educators and PSFOs have not had a pay increase since August 2018.
Premier Andrews has committed to providing kindergarten to every Victorian three-year-old by 2022. To do this, our kindergartens will need to retain current employees and to attract thousands of additional educators into the sector.
The AEU is monitoring the progress of negotiations closely. If progress is not sufficient, AEU council has authorised leadership to apply to the Fair Work Commission for a protected action ballot order. This will allow us to pursue an industrial campaign in support of our claims.
We will be holding meetings for members and potential members during Term 1 and early Term 2. We are asking all early childhood members to commit to attending one of these meetings and to inviting at least one colleague to join them.
The AEU will soon begin bargaining for new agreements at Goodstart, Moonee Valley City Council, City of Yarra and City of Casey. All members are encouraged to participate in the democratic Log of Claims process. No doubt you have ideas for changes to your conditions that could improve your working life – and we want to hear them. To get involved, please email [email protected].