This week the Fair Work Commission put an end to a five year battle by unions for a 35% pay increase for childcare educators.
The unions had been arguing that gender inequality is seeing such work undervalued.
But according to the Commission, gender inequality is not an issue. In dismissing the unions’ application, the Commission claimed they had failed to provide “any evidence whatsoever” that gender inequality was behind childcare work being undervalued.
That’s despite the fact 97% of childcare educators are female, and earning significantly less than the rest of the population. These workers take home an average $21 an hour, about half the average hourly wage in Australia. “You can earn more money working in a supermarket,” educator Kylie Grey told the ABC.
The ruling now looks set to see childhood educators going on strike on March 27 in order to demand the government help fund equal pay.
The below quote from Lisa is telling:
If educators all leave, what will we do as a country when there is no one left to care for the children? It may just be women’s work, but like all women’s work you sure as hell will notice when it is no longer done.