Early childhood teachers’ equal pay case finds initial support
The Fair Work Commission has stated there is a potential “issue” in Award wages for early childhood teachers following the commencement of our union’s equal pay case.
The IEU NSW/ACT Branch is pursuing the landmark case in a bid to ensure all early childhood teachers receive equal pay for work of equal value.
If successful, the case would elevate early childhood teacher wages in line with those paid to primary school teachers. Currently many experienced early childhood teachers suffer a salary disparity of $32,000.
While Queensland early childhood teacher wages are already generally in line with those of primary school teachers, our union stands in solidarity with the NSW/ACT branch in this fight.
After considering the IEU submission, together with the submissions of other parties, the Commission said that there "may be an issue as to whether the minimum rates of pay applicable to early childhood teachers in the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010 are properly set having regard to the value of the work performed by such teachers".
In light of the Commission’s statements the IEU NSW/ACT has advised that a further case, separate from the initial application to run the equal pay case, should proceed.
Whilst the scheduling of further hearings is yet to occur, the two matters may proceed concurrently.
The case will continue in the Commission on 30 August.
It’s time for all early childhood teachers to receive equal pay
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said it is critical that early childhood teachers are recognised and respected for the work they do in providing quality education at the start of our students’ learning journey.
“Given the female dominated nature of the early childhood teaching workforce, a fundamental part of this respect and recognition must come from the provision of equal pay,” Mr Burke said.
Our union’s early childhood educator members have long fought for recognition of their professionalism and the value of their work.
“In contrast to the situation faced by many early childhood teachers in other states and territories, wages in Queensland have generally remained comparable to those of teachers in primary schools, Mr Burke said.
“These enhanced wages have been secured through collective agreements negotiated by Queensland IEU members.
“Our union has negotiated approximately 400 collective agreements in the Queensland kindergarten sector alone.
“Our union supports the IEU NSW/ACT Branch in the fight to ensure all early childhood educators are properly valued for their vital work in educating our next generation.
“It’s time to change the rules: it’s time for equal pay for early childhood teachers.”
The landmark equal pay case, if successful, will significantly enhance wages for all teachers, including early childhood teachers across Australia who are reliant on the Modern Award.
This would include a minority of Queensland kindergarten teachers who are not covered by a collective agreement negotiated by our union.
Read more about the case at www.ieu.asn.au