Early childhood educators today delivered a petition to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull calling on him to fund equal pay for Australia’s overwhelmingly female early learning workforce.
Women make up 97% of educators in the early learning sector.
The lawns of Parliament House were festooned with thousands of “Where’s Malcolm” figures representing the 15,000 people who signed the petition.
Helen Gibbons, Assistant National Secretary of United Voice, the early childhood union, says “The vast majority of Australia’s early childhood educators are women. They are bitterly disappointed the Government has overlooked them in the 2016 Budget.
“Educators are frustrated the Government has failed, yet again, to provide funding to bring educators' wages to a level which is appropriate for their essential role in educating young children.
“It is the responsibility of the Prime Minister to value every child in our country. To do justice to each child he needs to value every educator who contributes to every stage of the child’s development.
“There is no indication that this is the case when it comes to the women who educate our youngest children.
“It is an affront to educators that their wages remain one third less than that of those educating children who are just a few years older. In 2016 that’s just not good enough.
“This election campaign is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to show he genuinely supports working women.
“By funding equal pay for educators he will fix this injustice while investing in the future of every child and in the future of our country,” says Helen Gibbons.