In centres across Australia early learning educators will mark International Women’s Day 2017 – Wednesday 8 March - with the biggest early education walk off in Australian history.
United Voice, the early childhood union, says the walk offs are happening because educators are angry that despite the vital importance of their work educating Australia’s children many earn just $20 an hour. That’s half the average national wage.
The walk offs will take place at 3.20pm, which represents the time women in Australia effectively start working for free because of the persistent gender pay imbalance.
One thousand educators are expected to take part in the protest in centres in every state and territory.
Helen Gibbons, Assistant National Secretary of United Voice, says “Educators are walking off the job on International Women’s Day to tell Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull it’s time he valued their work by funding equal pay for educators.
“This problem should have been fixed decades ago and yet educators’ wages don’t come near reflecting their professional skills and responsibilities.
“Low pay in this sector is directly related to the fact that 97% of educators are female, making it one of the most feminised workforces in the country.
“On Wednesday educators will be sending a clear message to Mr Turnbull they are ready to do whatever it takes to win equal pay. In 2017 paying women less than men is not on.
“Educators appreciate the strong support they are getting from parents and early childhood providers for the walk offs.
“It’s time the Federal Government valued the work of early educators, by funding equal pay in this years’ budget,” says Helen Gibbons," says Helen Gibbons.
Are you an educator interested in being involved in the next walk offs?