Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon has backed Newcastle’s early childhood educators walking off the job on Tuesday in protest against low pay.
Keep Your Children at Home Day’ is being led by the United Voice union and early educators around the country who are fighting for a fair wage.
Ms Claydon said the ‘pitiful wages paid to early childhood educators in no way reflects their massive contribution to our community’.
“It’s wrong that the people who are responsible for educating young Novocastrians at such a critical stage in their lives are paid less than half the average national wage,” Ms Claydon said.
“If we don’t pay our early childhood educators properly, we won’t be able to attract the skilled workers we need to ensure our children get the best start in life.”
Ms Claydon said the Turnbull Government had failed early childhood workers and the children that they educate.
“The government has shown absolute contempt for these skilled and important workers. It doesn’t have a workforce strategy and it axed the workforce professional development program,” Ms Claydon said.
“The Government needs to sit down with early childhood educators and map out a path forward.”
Ms Claydon said she thought the community would understand the action, but recommended keeping children at home if at all possible.
“Parents know better than anyone else the true value of our early childhood educators, so I’m sure they’ll understand this strike action is necessary to ensure we can maintain a skilled, qualified workforce to educate our youngest Novocastrians,” Ms Claydon said.
“If it’s at all possible, I would encourage parents to keep their children at home and support early childhood educators in their fight for a fairer deal.”
Ms Claydon said she was disappointed not to be in Newcastle for the local action, but would be meeting with early childhood educators from around the country in Federal Parliament on Wednesday.