Early childhood educators in Australia will be on a nation-wide strike on Tuesday, March 27 to express their raise their low award wages.
According to the early childhood union’s assistant national secretary of United Voice, Helen Gibbons, childcare works are being paid half the average weekly wage with $21 per hour.
The early childcare industry and the federal government had a negotiation on 1 February, but the government failed to meet the industry’s demand of 30 per cent pay rise.
“Malcolm Turnbull has driven educators to take this extreme step as he continues to ignore their demand for equal pay,” she said.
United Voice also emphasised the gender pay gap in Australia, as 97 per cent of early childcare workers are female.
“it is outrageous that in 2018 female-dominated industries in Australia are still fighting to receive equal pay,” she added.
Childcare industry workers with Certificate III are paid an hourly award rate of $21.29, nearly half of the average Australian wage of $40.62 per hour.
This is the third nation-wide strike in the past 12 months in the childhood education sector. The last strike was on 7 September 2017, where more than 3,000 childcare workers walked out, affecting more than 10,000 families.
Families are encouraged to support their strike and keep their children under five at home.
“Parents will have lots of warning and opportunity to plan ahead. We know it’s difficult, but we’re hoping with seven weeks’ warning, they can make alternative arrangements,” Ms Gibbons said.
Lois Lee firstname.lastname@example.org
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