After months of negotiations, the AEU has achieved agreements that deliver a wide range of improvements to pay and conditions for early childhood workers, including a pay increase for teachers of between 13% and 30% over four years, and the removal of validation.
Early childhood employer bodies ELAA and MAV have signed a heads of agreement with the AEU to finalise the new industrial VECTEA and EEEA agreements, accompanied by a funding package from the state government. The new four-year agreements will cover over 900 kindergartens, many long daycare centres and 22 local government authorities. (More details on page 10.)
Over the four-year period of the agreements, teacher pay will increase by between 13%–30%; Educator and Activity Group Leader pay will increase by between 20%–27%, with initial upfront increases of 5.4%–13.2%; level 1.5 educators will have immediate pay parity with range 1.5 education support staff in schools; and PSFOs will see a pay increase of between 16.9%–17.7%, plus improved TIL conditions.
After a challenging year, we are thrilled to have achieved agreements that respect the work of teachers and educators through significant wage increases and entitlements to help alleviate workload. AEU early childhood sector councillors have endorsed the new salaries and conditions package.
To be able to deliver such good agreements, bargained and agreed upon during a pandemic and recession, and to achieve wages that far exceed the public sector wages policy of 2%, is a significant win for our early childhood members. The AEU, ELAA and MAV will now finalise the wording of the entire agreements in readiness for presenting them to the sector. Relevant employers will be asked to sign up through MAV and ELAA processes.
Prior to a ballot of all eligible employees, the AEU will be holding meetings. We strongly encourage all members to attend these meetings as they will be an opportunity to hear in greater detail about the content of the agreements and to ask questions. We also encourage you to invite non-member colleagues to attend the pre-vote meetings and encourage them to join the AEU.
If a successful ‘YES’ vote is achieved, the agreements will be lodged with the Fair Work Commission and come into force seven days after approval. While these steps may take the next few
months to undertake, pay increases will be back-paid to 1 October 2020.
These agreements demonstrate the professional recognition of early childhood teachers, educators, preschool field officers and activity group leaders. They provide for significant improvements in wages and conditions, which is of particular importance as we continue to implement three-year-old kindergarten.
The AEU will inform members about the commencement of the voting period. We urge all members to vote ‘YES’.