More than 30 joint meetings will be rolled out across Queensland to discuss the current status and future of the Enterprise Agreement, recent government announcements and the impacts on you as an employees in one of the biggest employers in the sector.
On Mothers’ Day, Minister Scott Morrison announced the Families Package -
$3.5 billion extra into the sector – why is that important? More affordable ECEC is good for families and children but it also means there’s more money available to support professional wages and no changes to the NQF. Why is that important? High quality services are good for families and children but they are also good for achieving professional wages.
There are however, concerns -
Funding is tied to senate cuts. Why? No big bundle of money makes up for bad ideas that really disadvantage people such as single parent families.
An introduction of an activities test. Why? Because it presumes that ECEC is only really about allowing parents to work and mostly ignores the great benefit children and families get from attending quality early learning environments.
So, it’s clear that there are big problems facing you as an educator, as a director and as an ECT in the sector.
This means having a good agreement is important . But it’s also important to remember that big problems require more than one tactic.
Over the next year, some of the initiatives will include:
- More and more educators, directors and early childhood teachers stepping up and leading the campaign.
- Building alliances with parents, quality employers and the rest of the sector. Getting them to agree publicly and loudly that quality matters in ECEC
- Making quality early education a big and supported issue in our community by lobbying politicians from both sides.
- Taking on the Fair Work Commission head to head through a historical Equal Pay Case. The case in the commission, funded by union members, will ask the Commissioner to decide whether you are valued through pay and recognition considering what you do and what you are responsible for every day. They will do this by comparing the work you do with a number of factors such as other professions (teachers) and gender (this means the wage rates of male dominated industries) etc.
So, as mentioned, while the whole sector faces some big challenges over the next year, union members know having a good union agreement with their employer is incredibly important.
Today, you are asked to consider a proposal. To delay negotiation for a replacement agreement so that discussions can be held in September to do two things:
1. To determine the date to commence negotiations for a replacement agreement and
2. To discuss a pay increase for 2015 with a commitment to backdate the increase to 1 July.
Once the outcome of this ballot is known, the results will be communicated with all staff. During this process of balloting and the subsequent action from the outcome of the ballot, the following six steps will take place.