Kinder work bans flagged

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Kinder work bans flagged

PRE-SCHOOL teachers are hoping for improved pay and conditions in the wake of Labor assuming government in Victoria.

The Australian Education Union (AEU) is seeking negotiations with the Daniel Andrews government, following unsuccessful talks with the previous Coalition Government.

AEU members have not ruled out further work bans.

The campaign is calling for preschool teachers to have pay parity with school teachers and improved workloads to help retain staff and encourage others to enter the industry.

Belinda Elliott, co-ordinator at Inverloch and District Pre-school, is anticipating a fresh start.

“The new government made some promises they were going to support our campaign but we are yet to see how that is going to go,” she said.

Pre-school teachers and co-educators held a day of stop-work and a march in Melbourne last year, and work bans remain in place regarding contact with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

“The previous government said they were not going to do anything. They said they were not the employers even though they are the main funding bodies,” Ms Elliott said.

This term, teachers will continue to abide by the campaign slogan of “Leave on time, leave it behind” by not working unpaid overtime.

“We were doing ridiculous amounts of unpaid overtime. It was worth up to about $20,000 a year to kinder teachers,” Ms Elliott said.

“We have not had a pay increase in over 18 months and we have lost our pay parity with school teachers.

“Our co-educators are paid less than if they were stacking shelves at the supermarket but yet they are responsible for young children.”

Staff say co-educators’ workload has increased due to the extra support they provide teachers in planning for sessions.

The AEU is concerned about retaining high quality teachers given the excessive workloads they endure.

Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Families and Children, has met with the AEU about preschool teachers’ concerns.

“I am speaking to all relevant parties to this dispute. The former Liberal Government let this turn into a protracted dispute that has dragged on for far too long,” she said.

“The Victorian Government is not a direct party to the negotiations, but we do believe it is very important for this dispute to be resolved quickly and there is a fair outcome for early child educators.

“Early child educators play an important role in our community and the Andrews Labor Government wants to see them fairly treated.”

Pre-school teachers are also concerned about the Federal Government’s refusal to provide funding to enable 15 hours a week of kindergarten sessions to four year old children to continue beyond the end of this year.

Many kindergartens extended buildings and employed extra teachers to provide for the introduction of 15 hours of sessions.

The State Government funds 10 hours and the Federal Government funds the extra five.

Taking stand: Inverloch and District Pre-school staff, from left, Sam Morcom, Nicole Hynes, Helina Morgan, Michelle Olden, Belinda Elliott and Jodie Truman take part in a rally last year, calling for better conditions for kindergarten teachers.

Taking stand: Inverloch and District Pre-school staff, from left, Sam Morcom, Nicole Hynes, Helina Morgan, Michelle Olden, Belinda Elliott and Jodie Truman take part in a rally last year, calling for better conditions for kindergarten teachers.

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Posted by on Feb 17 2015. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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