Long day care bargaining update

The IEU pushed for substantial pay rises and better conditions in ongoing talks at the Fair Work Commission in February.

In case you missed our previous update, more negotiations for a Supported Bargaining Agreement (SBA) to cover teachers and educators employed in long day care services run by 64 employers took place on 23 February.

The Federal Government sent six representatives from the Department of Education. There is agreement between unions, employer representatives and the Federal Government that once the SBA is approved, it will be extended to other long day care centres throughout Australia.

Bargaining progress

Unions and employer representatives agree that significant pay increases and access to professional development are required to improve workforce attraction and retention, professionalism and service quality.

The IEU is also pressing for the SBA to provide increased planning/non-contact time to help teachers to manage workload pressures.

The IEU was encouraged by the discussions and significant progress was made on the Government’s contribution towards a wage increase. It is envisaged that the SBA will include the Educational Services (Teachers) Award conditions in addition to:

  1. A substantial pay rise (unions are seeking a 25% increase on award rates of pay)
  2. Access to professional development, including paid time for attendance
  3. A two-hour minimum engagement for part-time teachers.
  4. Improved pay progression for provisionally accredited teachers. If the attainment of proficient teacher is delayed because an accreditation supervisor has not been allocated to a provisionally accredited teacher, the teacher and employer can agree for the teacher to be paid on Level 2 instead of remaining on Level 1.
  5. Paid time for teachers to mentor early career teachers.
  6. Access to long service leave in short periods of at least one day.
  7. Confirmation that no employee will suffer a reduction in their rate of pay or conditions where these are superior to those contained in the agreement.
  8. A pathway to dispute resolution by the Fair Work Commission for issues arising relating to the SBA or National Employment Standards.
  9. Recognition of union delegates.
  10. Employer provision of ICT (computers, tablets) for work purposes.

Update on G8’s proposals

Major employer G8 Education is one of the employers involved in the negotiations. Here are responses to G8’s proposals:

1. Rejected: The ability for teachers and educators to work up to 10 hours per day within ordinary hours of work. This would remove the current requirement for the payment of overtime for shifts longer than eight hours per day unless there is an Individual Flexibility Agreement in place. This proposal has been rejected by the unions and will not be included in the SBA. If a teacher wants to work 4×9.5 hour days and have one day off each week, this can be accommodated through an Individual Flexibility Agreement between the employer and the employee.

2. Agreed: The ability for teachers and educators to combine their rest breaks with their lunch break and have one combined break of 50 minutes. The unions will ensure that teachers paid lunch breaks will be specified in the SBA if they remain on work premises during their break.

3. Rejected: G8’s proposal to pay staff meetings at the normal rate of pay (instead of at overtime rates) was rejected by the unions and will not be included in the SBA.

Next steps

The next bargaining meeting will be held on 15 March. We will continue to update you on the progress of negotiations. Please email your feedback with any questions or concerns regarding the supported bargaining agreement to IEU Organiser Lisa James: lisa@ieu.asn.au