Early childhood workers fight for pay equity

Issue 

The Independent Education Union (IEU) has launched a campaign for pay equity for early childhood teachers. In the months leading up to the NSW elections in March 2011, the campaign will include rallies, postcards and an email bombardment of the Labor and Liberal parties.

Early childhood teachers working in community-based preschools and childcare centres earn up to 20% less than teachers working in state government preschools and independent and Catholic primary schools.

A full-time early childhood teacher can earn $14,000 a year less than other teachers.

“We know that the majority of children’s learning happens in the first five years of their life. Teachers of this age group must have pay parity so that quality teachers are attracted and retained to teach children in these important years”, said Dick Shearman, IEU general secretary.

“The IEU is committed to gaining pay parity for this section of our membership. For too long, the state government has been getting early childhood education on the cheap.”

The campaign aims to get commitment from the NSW government and opposition to increase funding for early childhood services across NSW to increase their teachers’ salaries. To help this campaign, contact the IEU ieu@ieu.asn.au for copies of the postcard.

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