When early childhood education teachers are not given the same level of dignity and respect in their remuneration as teachers in school settings, we know the industrial rules governing this country are broken.
Early childhood education teachers require the same level of qualifications as teachers in any other contexts, but are, in many settings, paid less.
This is due to relevant employers and a Federal Government who are actively working to diminish the professional standing of early childhood teachers.
These powers work to convince those in the early childhood sector that, somehow, their work is not of the same worth as the work of other teachers.
As a Union we know this is far from the truth, and we strive to achieve fair and decent wages for all teachers in all contexts.
We also have a Federal Government that lacks the decency to commit to permanently funding Universal Access for our next generation of Australians.
It is utterly shameful that the leaders of this country can fight over who gets the top job, when those who are trying to educate the youngest and most vulnerable learners in Australia are left without respect and any commitment to funding.
The government may be comfortable with neglecting our children, but our members are not.
We continue to fight for proper salaries for our members in early childhood education, despite unfair laws that seek to divide and conquer by prohibiting all sector wide bargaining.
We continue to call on the government to show leadership and commit to funding early childhood education.
And, we continue on our path to make history, with the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch’s pursuit of enhancements to the Modern National Award through a landmark pay equity case.
Change happens only if we make it happen – and we are well on our way to creating this change.
There is, however, still work to do if we hope the Change The Rules and restore fairness to Australia’s workplace laws and the society we want for our children.