NSW wage advocacy for preschool staff
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > NSW community based preschool educators get boost from FWC wage negotiation application 

NSW community based preschool educators get boost from FWC wage negotiation application 

by Jason Roberts

July 09, 2024

Employer peak body Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) and the Independent Education Union NSW (IEU) have lodged a supported bargaining application on behalf of 104 NSW community preschools at the Fair Work Commission (FWC).


The application, lodged 5 July 2024, seeks approval to allow wage negotiations between key stakeholders in the sector to commence, including potentially the NSW Government given its role as the primary funder of preschools across the state. 


This latest development in multi employer bargaining applications, made possible by the Secure Jobs, Better Pay legislation passed by Anthony Albanese’s Government in November 2022, will likely follow the precedent created by the United Workers Union, and its partners, in June 2023 in which a joint submission to request to commence wage negotiations at a national level was subsequently approved, turn enabling key stakeholders, including the Federal Government, to begin wage negotiations. 


Big Fat Smile, the Illawarra based provider of early childhood education and care (ECEC), has confirmed that it has appointed CELA as its designated bargaining representative for this process which will, if successful, enable employees at its term time only preschools to be included in the process. 


“Establishing a new standard in wages and conditions across our sector is vital for recognising the importance of our profession and the significant impact preschool has on a child’s development, learning experiences, and setting them up for success as they transition to the primary school setting,” Big Fat Smile’s Chief Executive Officer, Kim Bertino said. 


“We remain steadfast in our advocacy for our people and the profession, and we anticipate that a new agreement will support these efforts.”


The FWC will now review the application before approval is provided. This can take up to three months to be finalised.

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