Queensland Lutheran Kindergarten member action secures some of the highest wages in the sector
Teachers and assistants employed by Queensland Lutheran Early Childhood Services (QLECS) Sessional Kindergartens will be paid more than most of their sector counterparts under their new collective agreement.
The new agreement, now approved by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), contains a number of other wins for QLECS employees including the retention of an adjusted Senior Teacher allowance and the introduction of paid domestic and family violence leave.
Wages above the ‘going rate’
IEUA-QNT Senior Industrial Officer John Spriggs said the collective action and strength shown by members had resulted in improved wages and conditions in QLECS centres.
“Member action by QLECS employees means they will benefit and have secured wages which are above the ‘going rate’ in Queensland community kindergarten sector,” John said.
“The new agreement contains a 2 per cent wage increase for 2020 and 2021, with a 2.25 per cent increase in 2022.
“This means at 1 July 2020, the commencing salary for teachers under the new agreement would be $2,767.06 per fortnight, compared to $2,608.47 at C&K.
“At Band 3 Step 4 the QLECS rate would be $3,845.56 compared to the rate of $3,597.28 at C&K,” he said.
Although the employer rejected our union’s claim for additional classifications including Experienced Teacher and Experienced Senior Teacher, they agreed to retain and adjust the existing Senior Teacher allowance.
As at 1 July 2022 the QLECS Senior Teacher Allowance will be $182.36 per fortnight, compared to the industry standard of $180.37 per fortnight.
Compromise reached for family violence leave
John said that although the employer initially refused to provide any paid leave for family and domestic violence, proposing only a minimum of 5 days unpaid leave, our union argued paid leave is the community standard in education settings.
As a result, the new agreement contains a compromise where two of the five days family and domestic violence leave will be paid as from 16 July 2020, and this will increase to three days paid leave on 16 July 2021.
The hours of work provisions in the new agreement remain the same as those included in the previous agreement, which are on par with the rest of the kindergarten sector.
John said members are to be commended for their efforts that were essential to deliver the enhancement to working condition contained in the new agreement.
“Their solidarity has secured outcomes that are an improvement compared to the original employer offer,” John said.