The United Workers Union (UWU) welcomes today’s announcement of additional funding for the early education sector, but the Federal Government has included a raft of JobKeeper-style loopholes.
“The Federal Government’s announcement of funding for centres has learned no lessons from employers rorting previous funding like JobKeeper,” said UWU ECEC Director Helen Gibbons.
“The entire sector has been calling for additional funding for centres to survive during lockdown restrictions. Today’s announcement is no doubt a welcome relief for many – but the fine print has no guarantees this funding will be used as intended.
“Once again, so-called ‘critical workers’ in early education have been treated like an afterthought.
“By not linking funding to wages, the Government has failed to close loopholes we’ve all seen exploited by large greedy companies.
“Providers across the sector, both profit and not-for-profit, have been crying out for additional funding. Now that it’s here, employers need to stand up and commit to using this new funding to support workers’ income and employment.
“This means no cuts to hours or forced taking of leave.
“Providers need to publicly commit to using this funding as intended, to maintain educators’ wages. If employers try to do the wrong thing, educators will hold you to account.
“United Workers Union calls on the Federal Government to close the loopholes in their new funding announcement to ensure every employer in the sector does the right thing.
“This new funding must be tied to wages to provide real support for the early education sector.”
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