VECTEA Re-negotiation

It’s time to re-negotiate the VECTEA

The Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement 2016 (VECTEA) and the agreements that mirror its terms and conditions, reached their nominal expiry date on 31 July 2019.

The current agreements will continue to operate past their nominal expiry dates, until they are either terminated or replaced by a new agreement (pending approval from the Fair Work Commission).

Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA), as the employer bargaining representative, will work with other representatives such as the Municipal Association Victoria (MAV), the Australian Education Union (AEU), United Voice and the Federal and State Departments of Education and Training (DET) throughout the re-negotiation process.

ELAA recommends that all ELAA member early years service providers and other eligible service providers become signatories to the renegotiation process. A Q&A is provided below to assist you in understanding why VECTEA needs to be updated, the process for achieving this, and how you can become a signatory to the renegotiation process.

VECTEA Q&A

The VECTEA needs to serve the Victorian Early Years sector as it is today and in to the future.

Historically, the VECTEA has it’s originals in a sector that was almost exclusively represented by independent kindergartens.

However, the introduction of the Kindergarten Cluster Management Model in 2003, followed by the introduction of the Early Years Management model in 2016, have had a significant impact on the composition of kindergarten services in Victoria with almost 40% of all kindergarten services are now overseen by Early Years Managers (EYMs).

Government policy is increasingly looking at the sector as a whole in order to improve and integrate ECEC outcomes.  Looking ahead, the ECEC policy, funding and regulatory framework will continue to evolve very rapidly, with the extension of kindergarten for all three-year-old children in Victoria by 2022 (including sessional and long day care settings).

Our sector also continues to struggle to attract, develop and retain high quality teachers and educators.  A skilled workforce is essential to delivering high-quality ECEC services and to achieving the best outcomes for children and their families.

We need a new VECTEA that can support these changes in our sector.

The next VECTEA must:

  • support the effective implementation of Government policy that is increasingly recognising the value of high quality ECEC
  • cater to the needs of all approved providers irrespective of their size and the number of sites they operate
  • make it possible to attract, develop, and retain high-quality staff into the sector
  • make ECEC affordable for families and viable for approved providers
  • be supported and funded by Government
  • be clear and be easy for employers  to apply and staff to understand
  • support ELAA’s vision of excellence in early learning for every child.

The scope of the next VECTEA will:

  • include the State of Victoria
  • apply to approved providers that are not-for-profit/community run services including sessional kindergartens and long day care

Employees who will be covered by the agreement are:

  • Early childhood teachers who are employed to plan and deliver kindergarten programs
  • Early childhood educators and activity group leaders who are employed to plan and/or deliver kindergarten programs; and
  • Early childhood advisors, early childhood advisors in charge and pre-school field officers who are employed to support the delivery of kindergarten programs.

The following instructions were sent via email to VECTEA 2019 respondents on 3 September:

On 29 August 2019 Commissioner McKinnon of the Fair Work Commission issued a correction order (required to clarify employees that VECTEA will cover) in relation to the application by the Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) to negotiate a new agreement to replace the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement 2016.

The Fair Work Act 2009 requires an employer that will be covered by a proposed agreement must take all reasonable steps to give notice of the right to be represented by a bargaining representative to each employee who will be covered by the agreement, and who is employed at the notification time.

Employees who will be covered by the agreement are:

  • Early childhood teachers who are employed to plan and deliver kindergarten programs
  • Early childhood educators and activity group leaders who are employed to plan and/or deliver kindergarten programs; and
  • Early childhood advisors, early childhood advisors in charge and pre-school field officers who are employed to support the delivery of kindergarten programs.

The form and content of the notice to employees is set by law.  You should insert your BUSINESS NAME in the notice by clicking on the “click to enter” tab at the beginning of the document.  Otherwise you should make NO other change.  NO addition or deletion to the form of any kind.  Print the notice as is, on plain paper.  DO NOT print the notice on letterhead, include signature blocks, or embellish in any way.

ISSUE the notice with your business name included in the form to your current employees (including those on leave) IMMEDIATELY.  You can issue the notice by email, mail, or provide it in hard copy.  If mailing or emailing MAKE NO FURTHER EXPLANATION in relation to the notice other than this:

“This notice, required by law, relates to the proposed negotiation of a new Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Educators Agreement 2019”. 

There are time limits that apply to the issue of the notice and these MUST be observed.  In order to meet these timelines please PROVIDE the notice to your employees by NO LATER THAN THURSDAY 12 SEPTEMBER.

Confirm with ELAA by return email to vectea@elaa.org.au that you have:

  • notified your employees
  • include a copy of the notice that you provided to employees
  • the date the notice was provided, and
  • how (email, mail or hard copy) it was provided

(NB You may have previously distributed the notice to employees in July but the issuing of the correction order requires you to do so again.)

If you have any issues  with the distribution of the notice please phone as soon as possible on 9411 4112.

You can stay up to date on the latest VECTEA news by subscribing to and reading ELAA’s fortnightly e-news and responding to opportunities to provide comment when prompted by ELAA. For those that don’t already subscribe to eNews you can do so by clicking the subscribe link at the bottom of eNews.

If you have a question regarding the VECTEA re-negotiation, you can contact ELAA on 03 9489 3500 or 1300 730 119 (for services calling from regional areas) and select the option for the Service, Delivery & Growth team. Alternatively, email vectea@elaa.org.au