Pay rise for early childhood teachers!

The Fair Work Commission handed down a decision today supporting pay rises of up to 10% for early childhood teachers, in response to a claim by the Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA).

The decision is the result of an eight-year long action by the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch, which represents 32,000 teachers and support staff.

The union anticipates approximately 12,000 teachers in about 8000 long day centres will benefit if the pay rises are made.

Most teachers in schools are paid well above the modern award rates but this is not necessarily the case for teachers employed in early childhood education and care services, particularly long day care centres.

“This is a significant win,” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Secretary Mark Northam said. “The Commission has recognised the increasing value and importance of the work of all teachers, but particularly early childhood teachers, and this decision reflects that.”

The Commission has proposed a new pay structure that will deliver pay rises of about 5% to 10% in addition to current pay rates, depending on the current pay step of the teacher. Some teachers will be eligible for even higher increases if they have more responsibility as the Educational Leader.

“The Commission has requested that state and federal governments consider funding early childhood sector pay. The union calls on governments to recognise the key role teachers play in early childhood education and support their work,” Northam said.

The Commission will list the matter again to hear further evidence and submissions. The parties will have the opportunity to address the impact of the proposed increases on business, particularly the for-profit long day care sector, and on the national economy more broadly.

Issues may include the operative date of the proposed increases, any phase-in that should occur and the capacity of the state, territory and Commonwealth governments to assist in funding the wages of early childhood teachers.