KU preschools transition to long day care

Seventeen KU preschools will be transitioning to long day care over the next six months. This is a result of the State Government’s continued lack of funding for preschools.
These centres will now operate up to 48 weeks a year and from eight to ten hours a day. They will still cater for three to four year olds but parents will be eligible for childcare benefits.
For teachers and directors employed in these services this will mean substantial changes to their conditions of employment.
Attendance time goes from 202 plus two to 48 weeks per year, although full time staff will be eligible for 11 rostered days off per year, plus public holidays which normally occur during non term time.
There will be an overall loss of non term time. Hours that teachers have to be face to face with children will increase. Under preschool conditions, the hours are capped at 30 per week.
Teachers’ salaries will be increased to long day care rates.
The Union is working with teachers and directors and KU to mitigate the negative effects of these changes for individuals. A number of teachers will not transition and will either transfer to another preschool or accept a redundancy package.
Negotiations for a new KU agreement were due to commence this year, however the Union has agreed to delay this until March 2016, provided that an agreement can be reached on a salary increase to be applied in January 2016.

Goodstart negotiations

Negotiations for a new Goodstart Agreement began early November and are expected to finish soon. Three unions are involved in the negotiations – AEU (for Victorian Teachers), UV and the IEU. The AEU and IEU have both made claims for significant increases in teachers’ salaries.

While there have been no definite agreement on wage outcomes, preliminary discussions have confirmed that Goodstart believes that they need to recognise the value of teachers by offering differential salary outcomes to staff depending on the qualifications and position.

The following will be included in a new agreement:

Ceremonial Leave

Volunteer leave (to be taken from personal leave allocation)

Leave purchase arrangements

Provisions for the cashing out of annual leave

Domestic violence leave

Training for union delegates

Protection of current conditions

Financial recognition for those employees appointed as Educational Leader

Confirmation that annual leave loading will be paid on termination, and

Acknowledge of the need to for employees to be given sufficient time for planning and preparation.

Childcare: A key election issue in Canada

One of the key platforms of the newly elected Liberal Government in Canada is the development of National Early Learning and Child Care Framework that meets the need of Canadian families, no matter where they live. It aims to deliver affordable, high quality, flexible and fully inclusive childcare for all Canadian families.

Work on the delivery of this commitment is to begin within the first 100 days of the newly elected government’s term. There is an explicit commitment to research, evidence based policy and best practice in the delivery of early learning and childcare to be funded through investments in social infrastructure.

This was the first election in Canada where childcare was a major election issue and childcare advocates are hopeful that new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will deliver on his commitment.

Will the delivery of quality early childhood education and care become a key election issue in the next Australian federal election? We need to start raising the issue with our local federal members now.

Verena Heron
Industrial Officer