(13 October 2021) Childcare workers take to the streets in Austria 14 October. The demonstration is organised by EPSU affiliates Younion, GPA and Vida. The workers early years education are demanding from the Ministry of Education that workers deserve more respect and appreciation for the work that they do. EPSU and several unions have sent letters of support and solidarity. The demands are echo-ed across Europe where workers in childcare have take to demonstrations and strike to improve pay and conditions.
EPSU agrees with the unions that it is unacceptable that the trade unions have been excluded from the elementary education advisory board. They should be have been involved from the start but it is particularly crucial that their voices are heard now at a time when the pandemic has intensified many of the problems they have been facing. Heavy workloads and understaffing have been made worse as sickness absence has increased, with inadequate measures taken to protect staff. Workers in early years education play a vital role in children’s development and this should be recognised and action taken to improve job security, career development and training. The sector needs more investment, better working conditions and more staff and all guaranteed at federal level to avoid regional disparities.