Early Childhood A historic moment for early childhood

On 27 September, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) handed down its decision to give authorisation for the AEU, the Independent Education Union, and the United Workers Union to negotiate a supported bargaining enterprise agreement covering employees of early learning centres.

This historic decision means that, for the first time, 65 employers from across the country will come together to set a new standard for teachers and educators in more than 500 centres, where EC professionals have been receiving only award pay and conditions. In Victoria, the providers G8 and Starfish will be respondents to this agreement. 

This authorisation means we can now start negotiating a union-bargained agreement to address wage injustices and workload. Members who will be employed under this new agreement endorsed a log of claims that included a wage claim of 25%; additional annual leave; additional planning time; professional development in paid time; time with a mentor for graduate teachers undertaking the provisionally registered teacher VIT process; and paid parental leave. 

Fair Work Commissioner Peter Hampton approved the unions’ request to have the FWC and federal education department at the bargaining table from the commencement of negotiations. Conferences between all parties have been scheduled for the rest of Term 4 to progress the bargaining process. 

Other local EC bargaining

Along with the VECTEA and EEEA negotiations, set to commence early next year, the AEU is involved in bargaining within the early childhood sector for those members employed under other agreements. With all EC bargaining, we refer to the benchmark VECTEA and EEEA agreements as the standard.

KU Children’s Services

Bargaining continues with KU Children’s Services, with pay parity our main goal, alongside trying to improve entitlements that address workload. 

Goodstart

Bargaining is set to commence with Goodstart. This is a national agreement, so the IEU and UWU will also be involved in negotiations.

Members – please look out for additional communications from early childhood organiser Max Grarock, who will work with members to develop a log of claims, and support any members who would like to become a delegate. 

Please consider joining Max at the bargaining table, organising and encouraging colleagues to become a member of the AEU, and getting actively involved in the process to deliver good pay and entitlements to teachers and educators who work for Goodstart. 

Moonee Valley City Council 

Bargaining for the new EC agreement with Moonee Valley has commenced. As they are a large council provider, we refer to the EEEA as the standard to achieve parity or better, in both pay and conditions for teachers and educators.

50 new Victorian early learning centres

With the first four of the 50 new government-owned and run Victorian early learning centres (ELC) opening at the beginning of 2025, the AEU has started to plan for the commencement of bargaining for a new agreement that, as a minimum, has parity with the VECTEA. Confirmed ELC for 2025 (all interim names) are:

  • Eaglehawk North Primary School Early Learning Centre

  • Moomba Park Primary School Early Learning Centre

  • Murtoa College Early Learning Centre

  • Sunshine Primary School Early Learning Centre.

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