Many young teachers working in the early childhood sector are unaware of the great variation in salaries and conditions being offered by different employers.
This can be the cause for some consternation when young teachers accept their first contract, only to find out that they are being paid much less, in some cases, than their colleagues working in primary or secondary schools.
This situation is made even worse by many young teachers not being aware of the conditions that are enforceable by law, and the role that trade unions play in improving and enforcing pay and working conditions.
This is one of the reasons that IEU invests a lot of time in speaking with preservice teachers, as well as offering them complimentary IEU student membership.
Recently IEU Organisers Lisa James and Keith Heggart spoke to a group of final year early childhood teachers at the University of Sydney.
Lisa (pictured) was able to draw on her wealth of experience, both as an early childhood teacher and also working to represent the sector, to show how important Union membership is.
There were horrified gasps from some students when they realised they might be paid up to 30% less than primary school teachers in some centres!
Lisa also spoke about the importance of being part of the Union for negotiating enterprise agreements and ensuring that you are being paid correctly – especially when it comes to things like overtime and superannuation. Needless to say, there was a flurry of students keen to join at the end of the session.