Fight for respect continues

2021 has already presented many challenges in terms of workers’ rights and safety, demonstrating that unions and collective power are still more important than ever to protect the very people who sacrificed so much to keep Australia safe last year.

Through the hard work, dedication and perseverance of frontline workers including early childhood education staff, Australia has found itself in the ‘new normal’; yet when it comes to ensuring recognition and respect for these employees, our fight continues.

Many of the articles in this edition of Bedrock are, at their heart, about ensuring equity.

Equity for the working rights and conditions of our members and early childhood education staff.

We focus on the outcomes of the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch pay equity case (read here ).

After a long campaign, our collective efforts have pay rises of up to 10% for early childhood education teachers covered under the modern award.

Our union will continue to advocate for pay and working conditions for teachers and assistants to be comparable to their colleagues who work in schools because we know this is key to ensuring the future of the sector.

To that end, we discuss what the National Workforce Strategy needs to get right in terms of proper recognition for the profession (read here).

We also examine equity for our students.

Whether it’s breaking down gender stereotypes (read here) or disrupting ableism (read here) – our union is committed to ensuring a just and fair society for all.

The many challenges we face also reiterate the importance of the psychological wellbeing of workers in our sector (read here).

We hope this edition provides you with fresh insights and points of connection to discuss with your colleagues in the coming months.

As always, we love to hear your feedback – so please let us know what story or stories connected with you from this edition via

Terry Burke
IEU-QNT Secretary

Mark Northam
IEUA NSW/ACT Secretary