Working group visits Canberra to meet with key Ministers and MPs in wage rise push
A consortium of early childhood education and care (ECEC) representatives were in Canberra last week to speak with key Ministers and Members of Parliament (MPs) about a government-funded wage rise for the ECEC sector.
The supported bargaining process for working conditions in the early learning sector is now underway, and the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has reached out to form working relationships with some of the other parties participating in the negotiations process.
ACA has formed a working group with the Community Child Care Association (CCC), Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) and the United Workers Union (UWU) in order to find common policy ground and to talk to the Federal Government about the urgent need for the workforce shortage issue to be addressed.
This working group recently organised and attended meetings in Canberra on Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 November, with the following key objectives:
- Emphasise the urgency of the staffing crisis, the impact this is having on children, families and educators and the limiting effect on the government’s early learning policy priorities.
- Advise on how the supported bargaining process can succeed as an efficient and effective mechanism to deliver professional pay for educators.
- Advocate that a determining factor of the success for supported bargaining process will be the government’s willingness and capacity to fund it.
- Advocate that this funding be included in the 2024 budget, if not earlier.
ACA and the other members of the working group met separately with Industrial Relations Minister Tony Burke, Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Aly, Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler, Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek, Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister Kristy McBain.
They also met with the following Members of Parliament (MPs) and key stakeholders:
Senator Karen Grogan, SA, Lisa Chesters, Member for Bendigo, VIC, Andrew Charlton, Member for Parramatta, NSW, Sally Sitou, Member for Reid, Tracey Roberts, Member for Pearce, WA, Josh Wilson, Member for Fremantle, WA, Senator Jess Walsh, VIC, Senator Tony Sheldon, NSW, Anne Stanley, Member for Werriwa, NSW, Korena Flanagan, office of Minister Jason Clare, Maria Vamvakinou, Member for Calwell, VIC, Dr. Gordan Reid, Member for Robertson, NSW, Senator Linda White, VIC, Carina Garland, Member for Chisholm, Glen Granger & Isla Pawson, Treasurers Office, Dan Repacholi, Member for Hunter, along with representatives from the Treasurer’s office and the PM’s office.
The key objective of the working group is for the supported bargaining process to result in a successful outcome for Australia’s early childhood educators, Australia’s young families and the early learning sector as a whole.
Ideally, the working group would like to see this positive outcome implemented by 1 July 2024.
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