Educators are multi-taskers

The investigation by Charles Sturt University, Exemplary Early Childhood Educators at Work, has analysed 3000 hours of data from 260 participants.

Interim findings show participants recorded a high level of job satisfaction across their day, with more stress at the beginning and end of the day.

Educators indicated being with children is how they spend most of their day, followed by routine care/ transition and intentional teaching. Least amount of time was spent on professional learning. Fifty per cent of participants said they worked on a secondary activity for every primary activity and switching activities was frequent, with most activities only lasting six minutes. Room leaders were slightly more likely to record being rushed or stressed. This study continues into 2019/20.

Preschool promotion

The NSW Government has launched a new campaign highlighting the importance of early education.

The campaign highlights the benefits of preschool education to parents. Two IEUA NSW/ACT members Kathy Hatcher from KU Chatswood and Jane Moran from KU Grevillea participate in the video which is part of the campaign https://bit.ly/2DXOzmr.

Call for state government support

A number of peak bodies, including the IEUA NSW/ ACT Branch, Goodstart Early Learning, Uniting and others have joined forces in sending a letter to NSW State Premier Gladys Berejiklian asking for a firm commitment to affordable high quality early learning, in the face of overwhelming evidence of its benefits.

The letter requests all NSW children have access to two days a week high quality learning for two years before school; that vulnerable and disadvantaged children receive support allowing them to fully participate in early learning and; that a 10-year workforce strategy is developed to better remunerate and recognise early childhood professionals.

Learn with TLN in NSW and ACT

In 2019 IEUA members in NSW and ACT can continue to access free online training through the Teacher Learning Network (TLN). All courses are registered with NESA and can be used for accreditation purposes.

Send an email to pd@ieu.asn.au or verena@ieu.asn.au for more information. Some examples of online courses include: Building Warm Relationships with Preschool Families; Including Literacy throughout the Preschool; Creating Inviting Play Spaces in Preschools; Human Leadership in Early Childhood – Building the Skills of your People; Human Leadership in Early Childhood – Building the Skills of your People and Storytelling in Preschools.

Attacks on conditions show why we need to Change the Rules

Recent attacks on working conditions in the Queensland early childhood education sector have reinforced members’ determination to Change the Rules.

The most serious of these attacks is an application by Kuranda Community Kindergarten near Cairns which has applied to the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to terminate the current collective agreement.

This is the first time an employer in our sector has sought to use Australia’s current, unfair industrial laws against employees.

If successful, this would force the kindergarten’s employees to rely on the award for their minimum conditions - stripping many of their current protections, including the limit on the hours of work for teachers.

It would also mean a pay cut for the kindergarten’s teacher/director of more than $20,000 per annum.

IEUA-QNT is now assisting members from the Kuranda Community Kindergarten to fight this application in the Fair Work Commission – the only recourse they have under the current laws.

Other recent attacks on early childhood education employees’ working conditions have included a Brisbane kindergarten which attempted to deny early childhood assistants their right to be paid for 52 weeks of the year — an entitlement that has existed since 1990 — during recent collective bargaining negotiations.

In this case, members’ collective action prevented the employer from removing this entitlement for assistants; however, such shameful employer actions are allowable under the current laws.

This is a fact that employers know, and are increasingly seeking to use, in a bid to reduce employee working conditions.

Australia’s industrial laws are clearly broken: the balance of power has tipped heavily in favour of employers and it is time to return a fair share of power to employees.

Members are taking action through the union-wide Change the Rules campaign ahead of the next Federal election.

To be part of protecting our working conditions by ensuring we change the rules, go to: https://changetherules.org.au/

Members celebrate 100 years strong

In 2019, IEUA-QNT members celebrate 100 years of providing security, protection and better working conditions for education professionals in the Queensland and Northern Territory non government sector.

As we celebrate our centenary as a strong collective, we acknowledge the hard-fought battles and campaigns of previous generations of IEUA-QNT members.

Thanks to the sacrifice and determination of these members, we have won many significant working rights over the last 100 years including:

1920s-1970s: Wage rates consistent with public sector
1970s: Equal pay for women in Catholic primary schools
1990s: Paid maternity leave and carers’ leave
2000s: Superannuation co-contribution, and
2010s: Domestic violence leave and natural disaster leave.

In doing so we have made, and continue to make, a difference and change the lives of our members for the better each and every day.

IEUA-QNT members will be celebrating our achievements of the last 100 years throughout 2019. To stay up to date with our centenary celebrations go to: www.qieu.asn.au/100years