ACA hails commencement of wage negotiations as an “historic moment”
The first ever supported bargaining negotiations for the early learning sector formally begin today, with employer groups, Unions and peak bodies negotiating for Government-funded pay rises and better working conditions for early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals.
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA), the United Workers Union (UWU), the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the Independent Education Union (IEU) will join other employer groups and representatives in the first ever supported bargaining negotiations for the early learning sector, made possible under new provisions in the Fair Work Act and will bring the Government into the process.
ACA President Paul Mondo described the negotiations as “an historic moment” for the early learning sector.
“This will be the first time we have entered into negotiations with service providers, unions and governments all at the table, working together,” Mr Mondo said.
“Every party has the same goal – to get wages moving for our workforce – which will help attract and retain educators in a sector currently facing critical workforce issues. The success of this bargaining process is highly dependent on Government funding agreed wage increases, to ensure families are not worse off.”
A recent UWU survey paints a bleak picture of a sector under immense pressure, struggling to meet the needs of families, to fill vacant roles, and to retain staff, something Mr Mondo said was “not a shock” to those on the front line.
“Our members have reported for years now that staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest issues in the sector,” he said.
“As an organisation, we have consistently advocated for more government support to help attract and retain early learning educators. Today marks the first step towards resolving this crisis, and we look forward to working with the unions and government through this process.”
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