Early Childhood Our guide to implementing your early childhood agreement at work

With the release of the implementation guide, we revisit some of the changes and and the many gains achieved for members in the VECTEA 2020 and EEEA 2020.

The advice on implementing the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement 2020 (VECTEA) and the Early Education Employees Agreement 2020 (EEEA) is designed to assist you in ensuring that all entitlements, including the gains you achieved in these agreements, are implemented in your workplace over the life of the agreement.

We encourage members to take the time to read this guide and use it as a resource to understand your workers’ rights and to ensure your entitlements are being implemented in your workplaces.

The top 5 entitlements members raise with the AEU

We will be running training sessions to unpack the top 5 entitlements members have raised as an issue in their workplace.  

1. Consultation

Members report to us regularly that genuine consultation is not occurring at their workplace or with their employer.

Consultation is central to the effective implementation of the terms and conditions provided for throughout the agreement.

Consultation provides you with an opportunity to have genuine input and to influence change and outcomes.

Consultation allows the decision-making process to be informed, particularly as it may affect you and your employment at your service.

During this training session we will look at when consultation should occur, what genuine consultation should look like, and explore some great examples of consultation. 

2. Workload index 

Access is a priority with the expansion of two years of kindergarten – and this may mean increased class sizes of up to 33 children for some services.

We know that when a class size increases it has a direct impact on the teacher’s workload. We encourage every teacher to make use of the workload index entitlement and to do a calculation to ensure that you do not exceed the index of 765. 

Any calculation that results in a workload index greater than 765 is deemed an excessive and unreasonable workload. 

During the training session, we will look at how to make the calculation, what you might be entitled to if it is too high, and when this clause is most likely to apply.

3. Lunch breaks 

There are clear rules on when a lunch break should occur, for how long, and under what circumstances the break can be changed. Given the difficulties that services are having finding CRTs or staff to lunch cover roles, it is more important than ever to understand this entitlement.  

Our training will include what the rules say about lunch breaks, when the rules can be varied with genuine agreement, and what can happen if no lunch break occurs. 

4. Out of hours work by direction 

Sometimes employers expect staff to attend events outside regular working hours. When you are directed to attend these events, the new agreement requires that you are paid for them. 

In the training, we will look at: what constitutes ‘direction’, what you can expect to be paid, the difference between volunteering and being directed, and the pathway to dealing with this issue when an employer is ambiguous. 

5. Organisational days 

VECTEA and EEEA contain an entitlement to two organisational days at the start of the year and one at the end of the year.

Our training will explore: what employers can instruct you to do for organisational days; how to be clear about the boundaries; what members have done to defend this time; and how to make sure that those who aren’t scheduled to work on the first two days of term are still able to have time to set up.

Our training sessions will unpack these ‘top 5’ entitlements, which members have raised as an issue in their workplace, along with any other issues members wish to discuss.

If you are interested in hosting one of these sessions for members at your service, please email Max, our early childhood organiser, at [email protected].

By hosting a session, you’ll be supporting members in your area to become more connected and to work together to ensure that you are all accessing the rights and benefits you are entitled to. 

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