Early Childhood educators in Queensland are walking off the job this week in a protest about wages.
The walkout is planned for this Thursday, 7 September, at 3:20 pm, to signify the time employees fundamentally start working for free, due to their pay.
Lead Educator at Calamvale Early Learning Centre Marijana Novakovic, said she believes that better pay will result in better employees resulting in higher quality educators for children.
“I believe that if we are paid better, this kind of profession will attract higher quality staff and people better fit to this type of demanding work,” Ms Novakovic said.
“We are definitely underpaid, when you think about it, some casual retail staff are better paid more then qualified educators, now that’s just crazy.
“Many of us are expected to support their families off of $21 an hour, its just not ok.”
Lead Educator at Moorooka Early Learning Centre Renata Pusic says educators have worked hard for their positions and this should be reflected in their pay.
“Early years matter. We are more than just baby sitters, we are trained professionals that have gone through the education to get where we are,” Miss Pusic said.
“With the parents paying an arm and a leg and the government subsidising, how are we still not able to get a rise in pay? It’s just very unfair.”
Ivona Martelli, a parent at Guppy’s Early Learning Centre, Chermside, said she has sympathy for the workers, but feels parents already pay enough.
“As a working mother, I really value the childhood education industry because without them, I and many others, wouldn’t be able to work as often as we need to,” Ms Martelli said.
“I’m certain that most parents would love to help out, but childcare is already too expensive for most as is, so I believe the government should intervene and take the responsibility to raise the pay.”