Childcare centre workers and teachers have demanded a staggering pay rise of 59 per cent so they can match the salaries of engineers.
The Independent Education Union has asked the Fair Work Commission to grant six-figure salaries to early childhood educators, the Daily Telegraph reports.
If the raise is approved, experienced childcare teachers could earn up to $104,500 per year – marking an increase of 59 per cent over the current remuneration.
In a submission to the commission, the rise is justified because their jobs are ‘noisy, dangerous and stressful’ and bear similar responsibilities and dangers to engineers.
Childcare centre workers and early education teachers have demanded a 59 per cent pay rise
The increase would put early educators on a par with engineers, who earn double the salary
But they are facing opposition from the Australian Childcare Alliance, who warned that fees would ‘go through the roof’ if the pay rise was approved.
The union said on Friday that work with children is consistently underpaid ‘based on a discriminatory view that it is less skillful and valuable than professional work traditionally done by men’.
In a statement submitted to the commission, the Independent Education Union outlined some of the demands of looking after young children.
‘The conditions under which work is performed includes physical and emotional demands, loud noise, dealing with human waste, confinement, professional isolation and exposure to infections,’ the statement says.
‘The union says both engineers and daycare teachers work in challenging environments. They are both relatively dangerous environments as both engineers and teachers are exposed to levels of risk of injury or illness.
‘The stark difference is that a graduate early childhood teacher has responsibility for the safety of a preschool child, (but) a graduate engineer bears no responsibility for the safety of a built structure.’
The union has requested that the Fair Work Commission to pay childcare staff the equivalent wage that engineers receive – which equates to approximately $79 an hour or $156,104 a year
Both early childhood teachers and engineers complete four-year university degrees to attain employment in their respective fields.
But the difference is in the remuneration – daycare teachers earn an average of $39 an hour, which adds up to just $76,886 a year.
The average mining engineer, however, earns double that or more – $79 an hour or $156,104 a year, according to data obtained by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
The union has requested that the Fair Work Commission to pay childcare staff the equivalent wage that engineers receive – also known as an‘equal remuneration order’ for daycare teachers.
The United Voice union is demanding a 30 per cent pay rise for lower-paid childcare workers