Surveys show limited support for ECE Pay Equity claims

21 December 2020

Support for Pay Equity claims in the Early Childhood Education sector is limited, according to Early Childhood Council surveys.

The ECC asked if respondents preferred Pay Parity (same pay for the same job), or Pay Equity, (increasing all teachers’ pay rates based on evidence of gender-based pay discrimination) in two surveys.

In both, the vast majority preferred Pay Parity.

Survey results

  • ECE community 85% Pay Parity | 15% Pay Equity
  • Centre managers and owners 100% Pay Parity | 0% Pay Equity

Comments from those surveyed include:

  • “Pay Parity is long overdue. If it’s addressed, then Pay Equity is not really relevant”
  • “Teachers are teachers are teachers. We should all be paid based on our qualification and experience”
  • “Pay Equity does not change the fact that we are earning less than our colleagues, both male and female, in other teaching positions”

Early learning providers received legal letters of claims shortly after pay equity legislation came into effect. With centres relying on government subsidies to pay their staff, and no indication on what role the government will play in this process, it’s a worrying time for providers on top of everything else they are facing.

“Pay Parity, or closing the pay gap between teachers in centres and kindergartens is widely supported in our sector,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds. The government has already dedicated funding to increase the pay rate of the lowest paid teachers in the last budget, with the promise of further increases to achieve teacher Pay Parity.”

“We’ve been critical of the claims’ timing, which threatens to derail this progress, but now we’re looking for its mandate.”

“You have to wonder where the impetus for the Pay Equity claims comes from,” said Mr Reynolds. “Many teachers are telling us they weren’t consulted on the timing of these claims, with some taking steps to distance themselves from their union as a result. We have seen and heard the mandate from teachers supporting the call for Pay Parity.”

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