United Workers Union to host joint ECEC crisis summit with ECA
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > United Workers Union to host joint ECEC crisis summit with ECA

United Workers Union to host joint ECEC crisis summit with ECA

by Freya Lucas

September 19, 2022

The United Workers Union (UWU) will jointly host an Early Education Workforce Crisis Summit with Early Childhood Australia (ECA)  in response to the ongoing challenges being experienced across the country.


To be held in Melbourne on 12 October, the Summit will involve peak bodies, unions and employers, and is said to be the first in a series of events to be organised by UWU and ECA that seek to build “constructive dialogue and agreed positions”.


The Summit, Helen Gibbons, UWU’s Director Early Education explained, aims to “build from that momentum for real change” which was sparked on September 7 2022 when “thousands of early educators walked off the job calling for their work to be valued”. 


“The early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector continues to be under immense pressure and needs a critical response strategy that responds to the immediate workforce crisis and through this summit we hope to identify strategies to address the immediate crisis, supplementing the long-term measures outlined in the Federal Government’s workforce implementation plan,” ECA CEO Samantha Page began. 


“We hope this will be the start of a constructive dialogue between peak bodies, unions and employers about how we can address the workforce crisis in early childhood education,” Ms Gibbons added. 


“Educators are finally being recognised for the vital role they play, but nothing has changed yet. They are still being driven out of a sector they love by low wages, alongside unsustainable workloads and stress.”


“This important summit will identify the historical barriers educators have faced to achieving professional pay and the support they deserve,” she continued. 


“We will also discuss possible solutions. Thousands of passionate and qualified early educators have left the sector in the last few months alone. It’s time to ask: what can we do to bring them back and attract new educators to the sector?”


“We must first make the sector a place they will want to return to. That’s what this Summit is all about – working to make early education a sector people will actually want to work in.”

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