Union calls ECEC strike action for International Women’s Day
The United Workers Union (UWU) has called on its members to use International Women’s Day (IWD), 8 March, to take ‘unprecedented action’ in the form of a stop work protest.
“In November last year educators put the Government on notice: that they needed to commit to funding the new wage standard for the sector to keep centres open, or educators would be forced to take action,” UWU’s Early Education Director Helen Gibbons said.
“But the Government as the primary funder of early learning still hasn’t given educators any certainty.”
As such, Ms Gibbons continued, over a thousand centres in every state and territory, across regional and metropolitan areas around the country will be forced to close their doors as educators stop work.
“Early learning is in crisis, with educators forced to make the hard choice between the job they are so dedicated to, or leaving to find a job that can pay their bills. Educators cannot stay in the sector on its current poverty wages,” she said.
“That’s why educators have been negotiating with employers and Government representatives through Multi employer bargaining to set a new standard for wages in the sector.
Educators have voted to take unprecedented national action, something Ms Gibbons said is “a historic moment,” with educators closing down centres at a scale this country has never seen.
“Over 92 per cent of early childhood educators are women, which is why this crucial work has been undervalued and underpaid for decades. Australia must have a sustainable early learning sector to facilitate women’s economic participation in the workforce. Without educators, Australia would stop.”
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