Kindy seeks to terminate collective agreement
A community kindergarten is seeking to terminate employees’ collective agreement and force staff to rely on the Modern Award as a safety-net for their conditions.
The application from Kuranda Community Kindergarten, near Cairns, has been made to the Fair Work Commission (FWC).
Our union is opposing the attempt to terminate the collective agreement.
This is a serious attack on working conditions and is the first time any employer in our sector has attempted to leverage Australia’s unfair industrial laws to terminate a collective agreement.
If successful, this would force some kindergarten employees to rely on the Modern Award for their industrially enforceable minimum conditions - stripping many of their current protections, including the limitation on the hours of work for teachers.
It would also mean a pay cut for the kindergarten’s Teacher/Director of more than $20,000 per annum.
Our union is continuing to assist members to fight this application in the Fair Work Commission – the only recourse they have under the current laws.
A Conference with employee and employer representatives in the FWC is scheduled for late February.
IEUA-QNT Branch Secretary Terry Burke said the situation was a stark example of why current industrial laws need to change.
“It should not be the case that workers can have their hard-won working conditions slashed by an unscrupulous employer applying to terminate a prior agreement.
“Australia’s industrial laws are clearly broken: the balance of power has tipped heavily in favour of employers and it is time to return a fair share of power to employees,” Mr Burke said.
Other recent attacks on ECE employees’ working conditions have included a Brisbane kindergarten which attempted to deny early childhood assistants their right to be paid for 52 weeks of the year — an entitlement that has existed since 1990 — during recent collective bargaining negotiations.
In this case, members’ collective action prevented the employer from removing this entitlement for assistants; however, such shameful employer actions are allowable under the current laws.
Members are taking action on unfair industrial rules through the union-wide Change The Rules campaign ahead of the next Federal election.
To be part of protecting our working conditions by ensuring we change the rules, go to: https://changetherules.org.au/