Early Childhood Bargaining to win

VECTEA and EEEA log of claims 

At the beginning of Term 3 we commenced the log of claims (LOC) process for the next early childhood benchmark agreements: the VECTEA and EEEA. We have set a target of 50 LOC member meetings across the state to ensure that all teacher, educator, additional assistants/KIS workers, and Preschool Field Officer members can contribute. We want the LOC to capture as many voices as possible from sessional kinders, community-based early childhood services, and kinders co-located with schools, metro and regional. 

At these log of claims meetings, members will have the opportunity to put forward their recommended inclusions for the next agreements. Once we have settled on the list of claims, the region’s LOC will be formally endorsed. We will also be seeking at least one member from each meeting to be endorsed as the LOC representative for their region.

With formal negotiations set to commence in Term 1 of 2024, we will be working with a group of campaign leaders, who will be trained and supported to sit at the bargaining table. This means that we will call upon members best placed to discuss each tabled claim – be that PSFO members, educators, First Nations members, and so on. If you are interested in becoming a campaign leader, please contact EC organiser Max Grarock on [email protected].

With all bargaining in early childhood, we refer to our two benchmark agreements, VECTEA and EEEA, as the standard we want to see reflected across the board.

The new agreements must build on previous gains. It is important to advocate for professional salaries, for entitlements that address workload, for reductions in teaching time, and for the pay equity that would come from removing the capability assessment barrier so that ECTs can achieve true parity. Crucially, educator wages must be aligned with education support staff wages in schools.

It will also be important to achieve cultural and ceremonial leave for our First Nations members, and we will be holding LOC meetings with our LGBTQIA+ members to include their specific claims, as well as progressive claims for women, including around reproductive health.

Update on local EC bargaining

With all bargaining in early childhood, we refer to our two benchmark agreements, VECTEA and EEEA, as the standard we want to see reflected across the board. When we work with members employed under other agreements, we always seek pay and conditions that ensure parity with their colleagues employed under the VECTEA and EEEA.

With the expansion of two years of free kindergarten as part of the Best Start, Best Life reforms, there is a projected demand for 11,000 extra teachers and educators over the next decade. Employers need to offer the sector standard pay and conditions or members will seek employment elsewhere.

City of Kingston

An offer was recently put on the table, which Kingston members unanimously rejected. Once ECTs at Kingston pass the capability assessment, their wages significantly drop after the first year, with a pay inequity of up to $17,000. Irrespective of workplace, these teachers deserve parity with their ECT and schools’ colleagues. We await Kingston’s response.

KU Children’s Services

Bargaining for KU Children’s Services has commenced across the country, alongside the Independent Education Union and the United Workers Union, with our goal being parity with the VECTEA.

2024 bargaining

Members at Goodstart, City of Casey and Moonee Valley City Council, please look out for communications from the AEU in late Term 4, with bargaining for your new agreements set to commence in 2024.

Members employed in early childhood services (long day care) can now bargain together with multiple employers.

National EC bargaining update

The AEU, IEU and UWU made history by filing for a supported bargaining authorisation. Members employed in early childhood services (long day care) can now bargain together with multiple employers. This gives teachers and educators new leverage to achieve salaries and conditions comparable with members working in the community and local government sectors.

Unions and employer representatives will seek to commence joint bargaining at a Fair Work Commission hearing in late August. The AEU has submitted evidence and witness statements demonstrating the importance of being able to bargain towards a national agreement, which focuses on the LDC providers’ commonalities.

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