Good news from Goodstart

Early childhood members employed at Goodstart contacted the union recently to express their concerns regarding the documentation requirements listed in the Goodstart Procedures for Early Childhood Teachers Maintaining Teacher Accreditation in a NSW Goodstart Early Learning Centre.

The IEU wrote to Lisa Chiovo, State Manager NSW and explained the IEU’s position that teachers should not be required to provide additional documentation in order for them to maintain their accreditation at Proficient. NESA does not require Proficient Teachers to annotate lesson plans, meeting minutes or reflective notes against the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. As the educational program is documented and kept at services, attestors can view such documentation without requiring additional copies to be uploaded or keptin a portfolio.

The IEU considers that the Professional Development Progress Report available from e-TAMS should be sufficient evidence of engagement in professional learning programs and no further documentation of PD should be required. In addition, the Goodstart performance Excellence Program and participating in the development of the centre’s QIP are not required for maintenance of accreditation.

Teachers maintaining their Proficient Teacher accreditation are expected to declare that they continued to meet the APST at Proficient in their practice. Our expectation is that an attestor should be familiar with the teacher’s practice and should view relevant existing documentation such as observations and analysis of children’s learning, at the service. We confirmed that our advice to members would be that they do not need to provide additional documentation (uploaded or in a printed portfolio) to maintain their accreditation according to NESA.

Goodstart confirmed that teachers will not be required to provide additional documentation to maintain their accreditation. As the teacher’s line manager (centre director or area manager) has responsibility for attesting that a teacher has maintained their accreditation at Proficient, in most cases an attestor would already be familiar with the teacher’s practice. It is only in the event that an attester is unfamiliar with their work that the teacher would need to explain their evidence.

Contact the IEU if your attestor advises that you need to provide them with additional documentation or compile a portfolio for the purpose of maintaining your accreditation at Proficient.

Help us put pay on the agenda

IEU participated in the ACECQA National Workforce Strategy Co-design Stakeholder Group meetings in 2020. While the union was successful in getting pay on the agenda, we need your help to make it a priority.

The six focus areas were professional recognition, leadership and capability, attraction and retention, mental and physical wellbeing, qualification and career pathways as well as data and evidence.

There was sector-wide consensus in each meeting that pay and conditions in early childhood services need to be comparable with schools in order to attract and retain early childhood teachers. However, the IEU was dismayed when ACECQA revealed their draft National Strategy to stakeholders in February and the crucial issue of remuneration was missing.

Fortunately, after the IEU and other stakeholders made submissions explaining why the issue of pay was critical to any workforce strategy, ACECQA added improving pay and conditions as one of their potential initiatives.

But the IEU needs your help to ensure pay is at the forefront of the National Workforce Strategy and in the finalised action plan. Complete the ACECQA online survey, open from 3-31 May and/or attend one of the five online consultations, 10-14 May (times to be advised). The IEU will provide confirmation of times and further information as it is released. ACECQA envisages that the final strategy and action plan will be given to education ministers in June.

For further information about the National Workforce Strategy visit:

New enterprise agreements

A new Integricare enterprise agreement (EA) has been approved by the Fair Work Commission and there are a number of improvements to current conditions. The EA will include annual increases to salaries and allowances of 2%. The Educational Leader allowance has been almost doubled to $1 per hour. One hour per week will be provided to room leaders to undertake critical reflection and room planning.

Teachers are entitled to two hours of programming time for up to 15 children, four hours for 16 or more children, with the ability to negotiate an additional hour per week as needed. In addition, teachers will be provided with up to eight hours per year non-contact time to prepare Transition to School statements. Integricare will pay the cost of up to 10 hours of NESA approved training per year and teachers will accrue up to 10 hours’ time in lieu for attendance at training.

The Fair Work Commission approved a new EA for WSUEL centres. Negotiations concluded in 2020 without agreement between the IEU and WSUEL due to low annual increases to salaries and allowances of just 1.5% in addition to the introduction of unpaid meal breaks. Prior to the vote, WSUEL advised the IEU and employees that teachers and educators would have the option to combine their meal and tea breaks so they would effectively only need to work an additional 10 minutes per day.

However, members have now informed the IEU that WSUEL are routinely refusing to allow teachers and educators to combine their breaks. The IEU is disappointed because members indicated that they would have voted against the proposed agreement had they understood that their shifts would be extended by 30 minutes every day.

Paid parental leave was increased from six weeks at minimum wage to 10 weeks at minimum wage. The new EA provides no financial compensation to educational leaders, nor any increase to non-contact time above the minimum two hours per week required to comply with the modern award.

Lisa James