Multi-Employer Bargaining application a welcome opportunity to improve the wages of early childhood educators and teachers: The Parenthood
The Parenthood welcomes the application made today by the United Workers Union and more than 20 early childhood education and care employers to commence Multi-Employer Bargaining in the sector. It is the first application of its kind in Australia through new Multi-Employer Bargaining Laws which came into effect today.
“Early childhood educators and teachers play one of the most critical and valuable roles in the education and development of children in the formative early years and yet are among the lowest paid workers in the country,” says Georgie Dent, Executive Director of The Parenthood.
“Low wages, limited professional recognition and very demanding work conditions have conspired to create a mass exodus from early childhood educator that has accelerated in recent years. The workforce crisis is already creating difficulties for children, families and communities.”
“There is not a child, family or employer who won’t benefit from a properly paid and supported early childhood education and care workforce.
“The new workplace laws provide a mechanism to meaningfully improve the working conditions and wages of early educators and The Parenthood is urging the Federal government to use the system to recognise and fund the value of early childhood education and care.”
“The Commonwealth Government was clear when introducing the multi-employer bargaining laws that they were designed to address wages in low-paid, undervalued sectors like early childhood education and care.”
“The Parenthood agrees that tripartite negotiations between educators, employers and government can be game-changing. Early educators deserve fair and competitive salaries that reflect the value and significance of their work. Adequate compensation is essential for attracting and retaining skilled educators, improving workforce stability, and providing high-quality education and care to children.
“The status quo is unaffordable for early childhood educators and teachers, which is the most gender-segregated workforce in the country. There are 20,000 vacancies in early childhood education right now and 30% of the workforce say they’re planning on leaving the sector within a year.
“These new laws present an opportunity to address the long-standing challenges faced by early educators,” says Dent. “We strongly support the implementation of sector-wide bargaining as a means to improve the working conditions and wages of early educators across the country.”
“The early childhood education workforce is a key enabler in our society. It enables children to have the education and development opportunities they need to thrive and it enables parents to go to work and to financially provide for their families.
“Access to quality, affordable early childhood education and care is an urgent economic and social imperative. It starts - and ends - with educators.”