The new agreements for early childhood workers offer significant improvements in salaries and conditions – now we need you to VOTE YES!
A warm welcome back to all members as you embark on another year teaching and educating kinder aged children. 2020 was an incredibly challenging year because of COVID-19 and we still face many of those challenges as the new year gets underway.
We know of course from our experience, that you are up to that challenge and continue to provide high quality education and care to the children at your service.
The good news was the year ended on a positive note, with the announcement that the AEU had signed a Heads of Agreement for the new VECTEA and EEEA that includes significant salaries and conditions wins for teachers and educators.
The new agreements will deliver:
- Teacher pay increases of 13-30% over four years (3.25% p/a up to 7.5% p/a).
- The hard barrier of teacher validation will be removed in February 2022 and replaced by a simpler process.
- Educator and Activity Group Leader pay increases of 20-27% (5% p/a and up to 6.5% p/a) over four years 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.
- Introduction of new diploma levels 2.2 and 2.3.
- Time for Educational Leaders and Nominated Supervisors to help alleviate workload pressures, allocated as a total of one hour/week/service, or banked up and scheduled as two hours per fortnight or four hours per month.
- Organisational days, three days per year (pro-rata) for all staff which will deliver an additional child-free day at the start of year to ensure staff have the time they need to establish their centres and programs.
- Four days time release for provisionally registered teachers and their mentors.
- Two professional development days (pro-rata) for educators.
- Increased personal leave for educators from 10 to 15 days.
- Any required out-of-hours work to be by agreement, in writing with a 14 day notice period and paid (VECTEA only).
- Primary caregivers leave of 16 weeks and four weeks for secondary carer’s leave (VECTEA), and the relevant local government entitlement under the EEEA.
- Family violence leave of 20 days per year, or relevant amount in the local government EBA.
- Union training leave – five days for all members, eight days for sector councillors and time release for our VIT rep, or relevant amount in the local government EBAEmployee Assistance Program for community based kindergartens.
- PSFOs – pay increase of 16.9-17.7% over four years and time and half for each hour of approved time in lieu.
The new agreements are four year agreements that will cover over 900 kindergartens and 42 long day-care centres, and 22 local government authorities. AEU early childhood sector councillors have endorsed the new salaries and conditions package.
To be able to deliver such strong agreements bargained for and agreed upon during a pandemic and recession, achieving a wage increase that far exceeds the public sector wages policy of 2%, is a significant win for our members.
What are the next steps?
We will be holding online member meetings in the coming weeks and encourage you to join one of these meetings as well as encouraging your colleagues to attend too.
These online meetings offer an opportunity for members and non- members alike to hear in greater detail about the content of the agreements and to ask questions.
More details of the voting process can be found here.
Thank you for your patience, commitment and support over the last two years as we negotiated these agreements.
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.
All AEU members should VOTE YES once the voting period commences.