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, will reach 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.
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). Added to this, many EYMs are also now moving towards integrated models of ECEC service delivery, incorporating both long day care, kindergarten, outside school hours care and associated programs.
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
- be applicable to different modes of ECEC, not just sessional kindergarten
- 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 integrated and sessional kindergartens and long day care
- cover teachers and educators.
The VECTEA is a landmark industrial agreement that has existed over 20 years across different iterations.
The VECTEA provides the detail on the employment conditions and rates of pay for the majority of Victorian community and not-for-profit ECEC sector approved providers.
Outside of the National Quality Framework, it is the central framework that guides the delivery of ECEC services in Victoria.
An updated VECTEA will assist our sector to deliver improved and integrated ECEC services in line with the Goverment’s Reform Agenda; improve outcomes for children; and attract, retain, and develop the best staff.
By becoming a signatory to the VECTEA, your service will avoid significant legal and administrative costs associated with negotiating your own industrial agreement.
In the next week, your service will be receiving email with an invitation to become a signatory to the VECTEA re-negotiation process.
ELAA will be negotiating terms on behalf of members (and other eligible signatory services) via a single interest agreement process. Single interest employers are employers that are in a joint venture or common enterprise or are related corporations. There are three easy steps to become a VECTEA signatory:
- download and print the single interest form that will accompany the email that will be sent out in the next week
- have the single interest form signed by an authorised person from your approved provider service
- scan and send the signed single interest form back to email@example.com
You will receive an email from ELAA confirming receipt of your completed single interest form.
Completed Single Interest Forms to become a signatory to the next VECTEA are due with ELAA by 5pm on Friday 29 March 2019.
ELAA will engage with members and other approved providers over the coming period to remind employers to become VECTEA single interest signatories.
This process is likely to conclude at 5pm on Friday, 29 March 2019. From there, ELAA will lodge a request for a single interest negotiation process with the Federal Minister for Education and then commence formal negotiations with the Australian Education Union and United Voice.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org