Pay equity claimants putting early learning at risk

07 November 2020

A series of pay equity claims against community and privately owned early learning centres is poorly timed and ill considered, says the Early Childhood Council.

As centre owners start receiving legal letters from union and private claimants, the ECC is calling for the claims to be withdrawn.

“Teachers deserve fair pay, and the same pay for the same job. We have pushed this for over a decade. 98% of our members support pay parity, and 75% support pay equity in a recent survey.”

“But we're deeply concerned about the timing and potential consequences of a claim being pursued against employers. We support the principle of fair pay, but this must be complemented by an increase in government funding. We don't want the current progress on pay parity to be held up or put at risk in an ill-timed claim for equity,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

Forcing significant cost increases on employers and the government in a haphazard and ill-considered way could significantly increase the cost of ECE for parents. In a tough economy it could force parents to make decisions about the affordability of their child’s early learning.

“We expect any moves on pay parity or equity to be well-thought through and widely consulted, taking all potential consequences into account. With this bull in a china shop approach, children, their parents, centres and the teachers they employ could be the losers,” said Mr Reynolds.

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