ELAA CEO, Shane Lucas, spoke to the ABC Radio The World Today program yesterday following the release of the latest OECD Education at a Glance Report which shows Australia is going backwards on three-year-old participation in early learning.
“The OECD report demonstrates that Australian still has a way to go at both Commonwealth and State Government levels in it investment in Early Childhood Education and Care,” said Mr Lucas.
According to the Report, 3-year-old participation in Early Learning in Australia has decreased to 68% (down from 69% in 2014), while the OECD average 3-year- old participation increased from 73% to 78%, so there is now a 10% gap between 3yo participation in Australia (68%) and the OECD average (78%) (this gap widened by 6%).
However, Shane acknowledged the success story that is 4-year-old participation in Australian early learning programs. Participation in pre-primary (preschool) in the year before school in Australia rose significantly from 53% in 2005 to 90% 2015 (an increase of 5% from last year) as a direct result of the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access.
Shane concluded the interview by saying he applauded the Commonwealth Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, for his interest in the three-year-old space, however, asked that the Minister follow through on that interest by finding “new ways of investing into that area”.
Listen to the interview with ELAA CEO, Shane Lucas (note Shane’s comments commence at about 2 minutes and 32 seconds into the interview)
A planned ‘walk off’ by early childhood education and care workers is set for this Thursday at 3.20pm. The ‘walk off’ is in support of United Voice’s ‘Big Steps’ campaign which seeks equal and equitable wage parity for sector workers. Following is a recent communique from United Voice regarding the action.
Walking Off the Job for Equal Pay: United Voice’s Big Steps Campaign
United Voices’ Big Steps campaign has been pressing the government to fund wage increases in early education for almost a decade. While our sector has moved toward high-quality, evidenced-based practice, our pay has not moved alongside it.
To many of us, obtaining equal pay is an absolute must to make ends meet. We’re fighting for a wage that reflects our worth and enables us to thrive in our profession.
This year, to escalate our campaign, we organised our first ever nationwide Big Steps walk-off on International Women’s Day. Our September walk-off is shaping up to be an even larger affair: it will make our message louder and clearer than it has ever been.
If you would like more information about our walk-off actions and how you and your centre can get involved, register your interest with us, join our Facebook page and check out Educators Everywhere – our one-stop shop for getting active in your local community.
Teachers in early years learning services – it’s time to make sure you have organised all your Victorian Institute of Teaching annual registration documentation and submitted your re-registration details by 30 September. Click on the tile below to see more information on the VIT website.
On 17 August, the Fair Work Commission released a decision to vary the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement 2016 (VECTEA) as it relates to the payment of casual educators.
This decision comes after a series of discussions between ELAA and the Australian Education Union (AEU) before the Commission during which the parties agreed that the VECTEA was ambiguous concerning the rates of pay that apply to casual employees, and made application to the Commission to vary the agreement to clarify the ambiguity.
The Commission has now agreed to the variation and hence determined that casual educators under the VECTEA should be paid at the “52/52” rate plus 25% as per Schedule 2 of the agreement from 1 July 2017. See a copy of the Fair Work Commission decision
The parties have also agreed that there is a back-pay component for casual educators, effective from the date of commencement of the VECTEA (i.e. 29 June 2016).
ELAA has developed an Excel worksheet to assist with backpay calculations and this is available on our website. This Excel worksheet is only available to ELAA members. To access the worksheet:
1. go to ‘My Membership’ tab on the main menu of the ELAA website
2. login with your member details
3. choose the ‘Industrial Bulletins’ menu option from the menu on the left hand side of the page.
In future, casual educators and Activity Group Leaders will be paid according to the 52/52 pay scales with a 25% loading in lieu of leave entitlements.
For more detail regarding the Fair Work Commission decision please see our latest August Industrial Relations Bulletin