Setting the standard: National Day of Workplace Action organised by United Workers Union
The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of The Sector.
Educators are leaving the sector in droves. The attrition of experienced educators from our profession is an ever-escalating and increasingly dire situation. Every single one is a tragic loss. Each loss represents a systemic failing. Educators have long been crying out for fair remuneration, for some reciprocity on the care we give, and we’re just spent. Our wages are not sustainable.
We cannot retain the professionals we have, and we cannot attract enough new educators to our sector. Somewhere in the realm of 39,000 educators are needed across Australia in the next few years, whilst 70 per cent of current educators are seriously considering leaving. With every educator who burns out, the stress and workload placed upon those who remain increases. We need help. We cannot address the crisis early childhood education is facing without addressing the wage crisis.
Union members and educators are fed up.
Early education has been made somewhat more affordable for families this month, but as a sole parent, I can no longer afford to work in centre-based care. This is another band-aid on a sector hemorrhaging qualified professionals. With the new multi-employer bargaining laws, educators are advocating hard for the changes we desperately need, but we need urgent action and commitment from the government too.
It is time for the Federal Government to publicly commit to fund better pay for educators.
On Wednesday, 26 July, United Workers Union members are taking nation-wide collective action. This National Day of Workplace Action is about making the crisis personal and pushing for educators to take the initiative and tailor their collective action to the demographic of their service. This action is geared to highlight that the crisis is real and dire, and how it affects the children that we educate every day.
The union doesn’t make changes happen for us. The union is us. The goal here is for each service and each educator to take responsibility for collective action at a grassroots level. We want families to understand that we’re desperate for help, that we don’t want them to have to pay more to pay us what we’re worth, and we need their help in advocating with politicians and the community.
Union members are calling on all educators and services to take part in this National Day of Action.
So, what might this look like for your service?
- Wearing a Big Steps union t-shirt to work for the day and talking with families and colleagues about the campaign
- Taking down displays around the service to illustrate the work we put in every day, making it obvious in its absence
- Setting up a photo booth for families and educators to share on social media, showing support and increasing visibility of this crisis
- Sharing a video about why you need this change.
So, what would raise visibility in your service?
Come and be part of the change we all need. We can’t make it happen alone.
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