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Issue #1446      10 March 2010

Historic childcare win!

In December 2009 childcare professionals voted overwhelmingly in favour of improving conditions and real wage increases for ABC staff. Fair Work Australia has approved this agreement which means it can be enforced.

LHMU Childcare Union members have shown that by joining their union and standing together LHMU members are powerful.

Powerful enough to:

  • Be the first workers in Australia to negotiate improvements to wages and conditions with a company in receivership.
  • Get the government to protect your entitlements through the GEERS scheme.
  • Turn ABC into a not for profit company run by GoodStart.
  • Win government reforms on ratios and qualifications.

Show me the money!

ABC childcare workers’ pay on March 16 will also include a little bonus with the two percent pay rise back dated from December 10, 2009; the date union members reached in-principle agreement with ABC.

Thousands of ABC workers joined their union, filled out pledge cards and talked to workmates and parents about winning improvements to wages and conditions:

  • Pay increase: 2% in 2009; 2.3% in 2010; 3% in 2011.
  • Two hours programming time for staff with these responsibilities.
  • Reduction in cuts in hours (down from 30% to 15% for the majority of the year).
  • Staff discounts are part of the agreement (this means they can’t be taken away).
  • One paid staff meeting a year with the chance to hear about union members’ campaigns in childcare.
  • Paid training time for union delegates.
  • Improved union rights so childcare professionals will continue to grow more powerful and win.

In 2010 childcare professionals will be meeting with politicians and telling their stories about the changes that need to happen to create better quality early education. The 2010 federal election is an opportunity for staff to talk about their vision for the future, for a quality childcare sector where childcare professionals:

  • Are paid professional wages.
  • Have access to training opportunities.
  • Are respected and recognised for the work that they do.

If childcare professionals want to win a better quality sector they cannot do it alone. Childcare professionals need to join with parents, the community and each other in demanding a better quality childcare sector.   

Next article –  Rig workers mobilise against Maersk

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