The SIPTU trade union has called for the pay rates of workers in early years education to keep pace with the Living Wage following the announcement that it is to increase by €0.95, taking it to €13.85 per hour. Childcare professionals secured an historic first pay deal this year, establishing a minimum rate of pay of €13 per hour. This was €0.10 cent over the Living Wage at the time. The union is now calling on the government and employers to deliver a pay increase to reflect the rise in the cost of living otherwise all the work done to address low pay, high staff turnover and the recruitment and retention crisis in the sector will be undone. The next round of pay talks are due to begin in early 2023.
Union calls for higher pay for early years education workers
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The SIPTU services union has called on the government to commit to funding early years education in order to ensure a living wage for all childcare workers. The union says that, on average, early years educators are paid EUR 1.12 less than the living wage of EUR 12.30 an hour. SIPTU wants to see the living wage established as the minimum rate for all childcare workers as an important step in recognising the value of the profession and to begin to address turnover and staff shortages.
A survey of student early years educators, carried out by the SIPTU trade union, found that one third intended to leave the sector, with low pay the main issue forcing them into a change of career or into working abroad. A massive 94% of students don’t believe the current wages in the sector are fair. Of the 945 people surveyed, over half are currently working in the sector as well as studying and of these 47% are earning below the living wage of €12.30 per hour. The union wants to see a publicly funded model of early years education and childcare which includes a mechanism for ensuring
The GPA and vida private service trade unions organised an action in Vienna on 29 March as part of their campaign to win better pay and conditions for workers in early years education. Along with better pay to help attract new staff the unions want action to reduce workloads, improve staff:child ratios and major investment in training. GPA and vida underline the need for national initiatives on pay structure and funding to reduce the different approaches from region to region.