The United Workers Union signals intent to push for 25% pay rise for educators
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > The United Workers Union signals intent to push for 25% pay rise for educators

The United Workers Union signals intent to push for 25% pay rise for educators

by Freya Lucas

May 24, 2023

The United Workers Union has condemned what it sees as a failure by the Federal Government to boost pay rates, and has indicated that it will make a multi-employer bargaining claim within weeks seeking a 25 per cent pay rise.


Although the Budget committed $70 million for professional development initiatives for the sector, it stopped short of making provision for wage increases. 


The Union’s comments were made in a piece prepared by The Guardian , in which Helen Gibbons, Director of Early Childhood Education at the United Workers Union, said it was “very likely” it would make an application on behalf of thousands of early childhood educators shortly after new industrial laws take effect on 6 June.


“We want to make an application as soon as we possibly can,” she said, revealing that the Union will make an application under the new supported bargaining stream for a multi-employer pay deal which, should it pass, would likely affect early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers across the nation.


The Union, she continued, views this measure as “a national approach to what is a national problem, because early childhood educators are paid badly everywhere”.


Ms Gibbons called for a significant uplift in educator pay, noting that from July educators will be paid 15 per cent less than aged care workers, and are already in a position where they could be earning more working in retail. 


This is not the first signal from the Union that it intends to aggressively pursue a pay increase, with a February pre-Budget submission making similar demands. 


Ms Gibbons said that the Union, “has been preparing for an application for months, including sector-wide meetings with employers and peak bodies.”


“Early childhood education has a workforce crisis that will only get worse as it becomes more viable to work in aged care,” she said.


“Early childhood educators are highly qualified, professional, and mostly women. We are looking for an increase off a low base.”


The Union is optimistic about the process, viewing it as an opportunity to “fix the chronic undervaluation of our members’ work once and for all”.


To view the original coverage of this story, please see here.

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