Big win for KU members

After months of negotiations the IEU and KU Children’s Services members have come to an agreement.

Despite including higher pay, KU’s earlier offers were rejected by 90 per cent of members because they did not include increased administration time for directors and educational leaders.

Prior to the new agreement, most KU directors taught in the classroom in addition to managing their ever-increasing responsibilities as directors, with as little as one day of office time each week in preschools, or a minimum of two days per week in childcare subsidised services.

With the creation of the role of educational leader in 2012, KU determined that their directors would be the educational leader of their services, but did not allocate any additional non-contact time for them to fulfil the significant responsibilities of this role.

Some KU teaching directors were responsible for documenting, planning and evaluating the learning of 50 or more children each week, with 40 minutes of programming time on each of the days they worked directly with children.

During previous enterprise agreement negotiations, the issue of non-contact time was raised by the IEU and our delegates as the most important issue for our members.

The introduction of Start Strong in 2017 caused a huge upswing in administration. Nevertheless, KU rejected the IEU’s claim for increased administration time for directors and educational leaders. Ninety per cent of members rejected KU’s offer, saying they would be willing to take industrial action on this issue.

KU returned to the bargaining table in early May, finally agreeing to meet the IEU’s claim for an increase in directors’ office time – a minimum of two days per week for teacher directors who currently receive one day per week and an increase to three days per week for teacher directors who currently receive two days per week.

In addition, KU agreed that directors would receive four hours per week for their educational leader responsibilities.

KU’s final offer

  • 4% increases to salaries and allowances in 2024, 2025 and 2026
  • two days minimum office time for directors each week (directors that previously had two days per week will now have three days office time)
  • 15 discretionary days for directors per year (these days can be shared with teachers to complete Transition to School Statements)
  • four hours per week for the educational leader role
  • KU directed meetings will be reduced to four hours per year and pre-approved time in lieu will remain at 16 hours per year
  • five hours programming time for full-time teachers
  • two child-free days per year
  • five days paid leave for both Declared Disaster Events and Declared Pandemics
  • two days paid Cultural Leave for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees
  • 20% discount on the gap fee for KU employees whose children attend KU long day care services.
  • gender affirmation leave.

Recommending a ‘yes’ vote

KU’s final offer addresses the issues raised by our members and provides for generous pay increases for the life of the agreement. The IEU is pleased to recommend a ‘yes’ vote to members when the enterprise agreement is finalised later this year.

The union thanks our members for standing strong together. We could not have achieved this without your unwavering support.

If you have non-member colleagues at your workplace, it is time to invite them to become part of the solution by joining the IEU.

Lisa James