Supporting the independent education community

IEU claim for early childhood teachers


 The IEU lodged evidence and submissions to support its pay equity claim for early childhood teachers just before Christmas. 

This is the latest step in the IEU pay equity case that has been running before the Fair Work Commission since 2013.  The Union is seeking pay rises for university qualified teachers in preschools and child care centres.  


“The claim is based on comparisons with male employees – male teachers in primary schools and male engineers.  At present, teachers in early childhood, who are almost all female, can earn tens of thousands of dollars less than teachers in schools. For example the top award rate for a teacher in a child care centre is less than $70,000 whereas a teacher in a primary school earns close to $100,000,” says Carol Matthews, Assistant Secretary of the NSW/ACT Branch of the IEU. 


“We are certainly not seeking rates of $156,000 as some media outlets have claimed,” she added.  “The top rate for a teacher in a child care centre under our claim would be just over $100,000.”


The claim only affects a small proportion of the overall number of staff in services and the Union calculates the impact on costs would be relatively small. 


“Parents would not necessarily bear the brunt of these increases. The sector is already funded by state and federal governments to the tune of billions of dollars.  Governments should also fund fair pay rates for university qualified teachers as they are so important to children’s development”. 


The Union states the importance of university qualified teachers to improved learning and social outcomes has been known for decades and is a central plank of the federal government strategy for early childhood education and care.