IEU wants a pay rise for NSW community preschool staff
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > IEU launches bid for 25% pay rise for community based preschool staff

IEU launches bid for 25% pay rise for community based preschool staff

by Freya Lucas

April 08, 2024

The New South Wales/ACT branch of the  Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) is launching a pay rise campaign for staff employed in community-based preschools in NSW, calling for a 25 per cent increase for beginning teachers and a bigger pay rise for experienced teachers. 


Typically community based not-for-profit preschools are run by voluntary parent committees, many of whom may not realise the complexity of the preschool teaching role, or the depth of the current staffing challenges facing the larger early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector. 


“For too long, the work of preschool teachers has been undervalued,” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Carol Matthews said. 


“It’s time for a fair deal for preschools: respect the profession; pay teachers and educators properly; and to invest in the future.” 


The IEUA is accessing the new ‘supported bargaining’ stream designed to assist employers and employees who haven’t been able to bargain successfully at the individual enterprise level to now bargain together as a group. 


This process would enable the union, the NSW government and employers to work together to lift pay and conditions across the sector. 


The IEUA is calling for government-supported pay rises that properly value the work of preschool staff, especially university-qualified teachers who are paid less than school teachers. 


Beginning preschool teachers,Ms Matthews said, are paid just $67,513 a year under the applicable modern award, while their colleagues in schools are paid $85,000 a year. 


For experienced preschool teachers under the modern award, the top rate for an experienced teacher is $86,876 per year. In comparison, a teacher with the same level of experience working in a NSW government school is currently paid $122,100 a year. 


“We need a 25 per cent increase for beginning teachers and more for experienced teachers working in preschools,” Ms Matthews continued. 


“Preschool teachers in other states and territories receive pay rates comparable to school teachers. The NSW government has already shown its commitment to teachers in schools by taking real action to address teacher shortages.” 


“Now we must focus on the needs of our preschools,” she added. 


“We urge the NSW government to step up and address the staff shortages caused by inadequate pay and conditions in community-based preschools.” 


“If preschool teachers were paid comparably to school teachers, they would be more likely to enter the sector and less likely to leave,” Ms Matthews said. “Teachers, children, parents and the community at large only stand to gain from a strong preschool sector. We need to unite for change.” 

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