Early childhood educators across Australia will take unprecedented action on March 8th for International Women’s Day.
In four weeks over a thousand centres in every state and territory, across regional and metropolitan areas around the country will be forced to close their doors as educators stop work.
Quotes attributable to Helen Gibbons, Early Education Director, United Workers Union:
“Early learning is in crisis, with educators forced to make the hard choice between the job they are so dedicated to, or leaving to find a job that can pay their bills. Educators cannot stay in the sector on its current poverty wages.
“That’s why educators have been negotiating with employers and Government representatives through Multi employer bargaining to set a new standard for wages in the sector.
“In November last year educators put the Government on notice: that they needed to commit to funding the new wage standard for the sector to keep centres open, or educators would be forced to take action.
“But the Government as the primary funder of early learning still hasn’t given educators any certainty.
“There has been no commitment to increase wages in the sector.
“So educators have voted to take unprecedented national action.
“This is a historic moment, with educators closing down centres at a scale this country has never seen.
“Over 92% of early childhood educators are women, which is why this crucial work has been undervalued and underpaid for decades. Australia must have a sustainable early learning sector to facilitate women’s economic participation in the workforce. Without educators, Australia would stop.”
Quotes attributable to Bec Stiles, Director of Hillbank Community Children’s Centre:
“Early childhood educators have been left behind for far too long!
“We have been banging on the Government’s door for years asking for recognition. They have finally answered with new laws that allow us to come together as one big sector. Now it’s time for them to put their money where their mouth is.
“If they value early childhood education, then they first must value educators. Australia stops when we stop!”
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