Council reinstates nappy changing allowance for educators in Western Sydney centre

Council reinstates nappy changing allowance for educators in Western Sydney centre

by Freya Lucas

March 10, 2020

Cumberland City Council has reinstated an allowance paid to educators working at Council-run early childhood education and care services in the region, which paid them an additional amount, over and above the Award, for their “adverse working conditions” involved in changing nappies, as this involves dealing with human waste products. 


The Council, local news source The Daily Telegraph said, experienced a $6.4 million deficit over the past financial year, and is reportedly exploring different avenues to reduce expenditure across their services. 


Local Mayor Steve Christou is said to be “mortified” that the allowance had been cut, moving to reinstate it once he was notified of the change by a local resident. 


“This is going too far. Our childcare workers carry a very important responsibility. Reducing the nappy allowance is not the answer to fixing Cumberland’s overall budget problems,’’ Mayor Christou told The Daily Telegraph


As a result of his intervention, approximately $61,000 has been back paid to educators.


Further issues within the Council emerged as a result of discussions about the allowance, related to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, after a publication from the United Services Union was circulated, The Daily Telegraph said. 


The letter reportedly stated that council had “elected to axe childcare jobs” — a statement the council has rejected. Mr Christou said savings measures had not been formally considered, and that no decisions had been made. 


It is believed that the communication with the Union was initiated following a 14 January workshop with councillors and the executive team at Windsor. Cumberland City Council Councillor Ned Attie described the leak as “distasteful” saying many options were discussed, but that “to make only one conclusion that we’re going to close the childcare services down, I think is…poor.’’


The council will investigate the leak, The Daily Telegraph said


To read the original coverage of the issue, as produced by The Daily Telegraph, please see here.