PAY EQUITY: Female early childhood teachers are seeking the same remuneration rates as male colleagues.
PAY EQUITY: Female early childhood teachers are seeking the same remuneration rates as male colleagues. Warren Lynam

IEU taking big steps toward teacher pay equity

EVIDENCE and submissions to support the pay equity claim for early childhood teachers has been lodged by the Independent Education Union (IEU).

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

The Big Steps campaign for equal pay for women doing the same work as their male colleagues has been running in tandem.

IEU assistant secretary Carol Matthews said 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,” she said.

"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.

"We are certainly not seeking rates of $156,000 as some have claimed.

"Parents would not necessarily bear the brunt of these increases as 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.”

Meanwhile, IEU industrial officer Verena Heron says the dispute between Catholic school teachers and employers will reach the next stage before classes resume later this month.

"The union will soon meet with the employer groups sometime towards the middle of January to discuss the situation,” she said.

"It is still unclear if they intend to send the agreement back to the employees but we will continue to negotiate this matter until it is settled satisfactorily.”



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