The IEU is celebrating the first enterprise agreement finalised with a for profit early childhood employer that provides for salaries and conditions above the Educational Services (Teachers) Award.
The Fair Work Commission recently approved an enterprise agreement known as the Stationbridge Group Australia Enterprise Agreement 2016.
The Stationbridge group works on a franchisee/franchisor model and currently operates several long day care centres called Cherry Bridge Station Early Learning and Childcare across the Sydney metropolitan area.
IEU, United Voice and several individual bargaining representatives have been in negotiations for an enterprise agreement since April 2016 with Stationbridge Group Australia.
This is an excellent outcome for early childhood teacher members. Members will have salary increases of 11.5% over the life of the agreement, access to paid leave to attend NESA accredited professional development, inclusion of an Educational Leader’s definition and a provision of two hours to perform the role, the Nominated Supervisor’s definition and an allowance equal to 50% of the Director’s Allowance.
The Nominated Supervisor’s Allowance will also be paid in conjunction with the Director’s Allowance if one person is performing both roles. This represents an increase of $4500 in the first year of the agreement to a teacher who is the Nominated Supervisor or if they are the Director.
Programing has been increased to three hours per teacher if they plan for more than 15 children and the inclusion of five days paid domestic violence leave.
This is the first agreement the IEU has made with a private operator since the Early Years Quality Fund Agreements and it should be celebrated and acknowledged. The IEU is hopeful that this will pave the way to more enterprise agreements with the private sector.
Currently the IEU has more than 250 community based preschool and long day care enterprise agreements covering hundreds of teachers in standalone centres and larger non for profit organisations. Pay parity with school teachers is been achieved in many of these centres with an agreement.
IEU believes the Stationbridge outcome is a positive step towards private sector operators acknowledging the importance of attracting and retaining qualified teachers in their services, by ensuring their conditions and salaries are more attractive than the modern award.