In principle agreement reached with the AEU for the next VECTEA, ELAA says

In principle agreement reached with the AEU for the next VECTEA, ELAA says

by Freya Lucas

April 29, 2020

The Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) announced yesterday that it has reached an in-principle agreement with the Australian Education Union (AEU) for the next Victorian Early Childhood Teachers And Educators Agreement (VECTEA). 

 

The VECTEA agreement is a major enterprise agreement which governs the Victorian community-based sector. 

 

Highlights of the 2016 negotiations, the last time the agreement was reached, as noted by the AEU, included a 3 per cent annual wage rise, 15 days of leave for co-educators and pay parity with school teachers for the top tier of early childhood teachers (representing an additional 13 per cent), and pay parity with school teachers for the bottom tier of early childhood teachers (representing an additional 8 per cent). 

 

In the most recent discussions, ELAA has shared that the proposed agreement “provides a focus on quality outcomes for the early childhood sector by improving wages and conditions for teachers and educators as well as providing employers a greater ability to manage their workforce.”

 

Key features highlighted by the association include:

 

  • teacher wage increases in line with government wages policy, along with the objective to deliver salary parity with government school teachers
  • educator wage increases higher than award rates
  • ability of employers to extend probationary period to six months
  • ability of employers to manage under performance issues
  • time for specified tasks to address teacher workload pressures
  • removal of validation.

 

ELAA has agreed to key improvements for teachers and educators “in recognition of the importance of ensuring we retain and attract a quality workforce, thereby supporting the dedicated work of early childhood providers.”

 

The ability for employers to address any issues of underperformance was successfully negotiated by ELAA, who ensured that employers can extend an employees probationary period to six months under the proposed agreement, which also introduces the ability for the employer to formally manage under performance issues.

 

ELAA believes the proposed VECTEA provides a balanced approach for teachers, educators and early childhood providers, communication from the association read, explaining that the proposed agreement will now be by government regarding appropriate funding. 

 

A spokesperson said the association “looks forward to a government response that recognises and funds the significant reforms agreed to”.

 

Following the government response, ELAA and AEU will meet to begin finalising the terms and conditions of the next VECTEA, which will reflect what has been agreed through bargaining and what government has agreed to appropriately fund. The formal process of approving the next VECTEA via Fair Work Commission will then commence.

 

ELAA CEO David Worland recognised and thanked the ELAA Industrial Relations Reference Group, which has provided support and guidance to ELAA negotiators throughout the process.

 

To remain across the developments in this space, please see the ELAA website

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