Supporting the independent education community

Teachers r Teachers: Supported bargaining for better pay


The Fair Work Commission heard its first application for multi-enterprise supported bargaining in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) in August.


Under the new Secure Work Better Jobs Act introduced in June, it is easier for unions to bargain for enterprise agreements with groups of employers and require the funding authority to be part of the process (in this case the Federal Government).


The IEU, along with the United Workers Union (UWU), which represents ECEC educators in NSW, and the Australian Education Union (AEU), which represents ECEC teachers in Victoria, have jointly lodged an application. 


A group of 64 ECEC employers has agreed to be part of the application. As it is supported bargaining, the funding body, which is the Federal Government in this case, will also be a party to the discussions. 


Big Fat Smile, which runs centres around Sydney and Wollongong, is included in this application.


The IEU is also keen to recruit ECEC teachers who work for St Nicolas Early Education long day care centres, which are administered by the Catholic Diocese of Newcastle-Maitland.

There is an opportunity to improve these teachers’ pay and conditions through multi-enterprise supported bargaining.


While many of these centres are situated on the grounds of Catholic schools, the teachers that work in them earn $22,000 a year less than their colleagues on the other side of the school fence.


The union is also exploring opportunities in other parts of NSW where there are groups of teachers that would benefit from being part of a multi-enterprise agreement.

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