Enterprise bargaining commences today for ECEC
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Another ECEC wage negotiation milestone reached as enterprise bargaining kicks off

Another ECEC wage negotiation milestone reached as enterprise bargaining kicks off

by Jason Roberts

October 27, 2023

Around five months after the United Workers Union (UWU), the Australian Education Union – Victorian Branch (AEU Vic/Tas) and the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEU) lodged an enterprise bargaining application with the Fair Work Commission negotiations between key early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector stakeholders are about to begin.


This latest development follows the Fair Work Commission’s recent decision to grant the application the green light and allow the Unions to convene with employer groups, including the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA), Community Early Learning Australia (CELA), Community Child Care Association (CCCA) and G8 Education, to start the negotiations. 


The importance of this development cannot be understated and marks the first time in the history of the ECEC sector that a process of this nature, and scale has taken place with the express objective of addressing the long term undervaluation of educators’ work. 


Starting today the employee and employer representative groups will meet to work through an agenda which is expected to culminate in an agreement to reset educator wages higher via a new sector wide enterprise agreement. 


Given the current broad consensus between the negotiating parties about the need, and appropriateness, of educator pay increases the process is not expected to be particularly drawn out although there remains some uncertainty as to how the final decision will be funded.


Early indications are that the employee representatives are seeking a 25 per cent increase to the Children’s Services Award wages however, it is too early in the process to conclude this will be the final outcome. 


Once a tentative agreement has been reached representatives of the Federal Government will be directed to join discussions with a view to potentially funding the increase going forward. 


A useful primer on the ECEC wage negotiation process can be found here

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