On Wednesday March 8 (International Woman's Day), at 3:20pm, childcare educators across Australia are set to walk off the job to protest pay rates and draw attention to the large pay gap between male and female dominated professions.
Childcare union United Voice has a long-running wage case in the Fair Work Commission, arguing that the 97 per cent female workforce is underpaid for working in a “pink collar” sector.
United Voice says some are being paid as little as $20 an hour, which is half the average national average and significantly less than workers in male-dominated professions with comparable skills and qualifications.
Government frontbencher David Gillespie said the strike wouldn’t be welcomed by many mums and dads. “I don’t think it will endear them to a lot of the parents who have pretty busy and complex work arrangements,” the assistant health minister told ABC TV.
Pay rate decisions are from the Fair Work Commission, he added.
Childcare In Australia Is Getting A Big Shake Up,2017,News.com.au
From the 01 July 2016, the Fair Work commission has announced a 2.4% increase to minimum wages. This will apply from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2016.
From the 1st July, the Fair Work Commission has just announced an increase of the national minimum wage to 2.5% in Awards. Some allowances in some Awards will also change as a result of this increase.
As a childcare worker in Australia your pay rate falls under the Children’s Services Award 2010. This award states the minimum amount that an employer can pay you based on your qualification and your position while working in an early learning centre.
According to the Children’s Services Award 2010, all employees’ fall under a classification structure, this determines their minimum wage. Each “level” gives a definition on what is expected of the employee, qualifications required and the duties the employee should perform in order to be paid at that particular level. Below is the list of classifications for each level.
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