AWAs will cut pay for childcare workers, says union

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AWAs will cut pay for childcare workers, says union

Some childcare centres are trying to push workers onto AWAs which will cut their wages by between $138 and $313 per week and reduce working conditions, the childcare union has claimed.

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Some childcare centres are trying to push workers onto AWAs which will cut their wages by between $138 and $313 per week and reduce working conditions, the childcare union has claimed.

A NSW MP, Ian West, has told State Parliament that Cubby House Childcare and the operators of Childs Family Kindergartens - which run 37 centres across the state - have ‘moved aggressively to take advantage of the Howard Government’s extreme workplace legislation’.

Jim Lloyd, the president of the childcare section of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers’ Union (LHMU) said he is working closely with the directors and staff at these centres in a campaign to defend working standards.

‘We’re telling our members don’t sign anything without getting advice,’ he said. ‘Talk to the LHMU Childcare Union delegate first or contact the union office.’

Lloyd said an employer cannot dismiss employees for refusing to sign an individual employment agreement.

Conditions at risk

He said that under the model AWAs prepared for workers by the two childcare operators, employees would lose the following conditions:

  • The Award provides for three breaks over a seven-hour shift, with overtime for working through lunch. The individual contract removes all breaks and all rest pauses.

  • The Award provides for 17.5 per cent leave loading. The individual contract removes all annual leave loading.

  • The Award provides for 15 sick days in the first year, and 12 days thereafter. The individual contract provides for only 10 sick days per year.

  • The Award provides for an annual picnic day for child care workers, but the individual agreement removes it.

  • The Award provides for employees who are acting as supervisors to be paid accordingly. The individual contract removes it.

  • Under the individual contract, working hours can be changed without notice and hours can be averaged over 52 weeks. The employer can stand down an employee without pay.

  • The Award provides that if an employee is required to work at a different location, then those changes must be reasonable. The individual contract means that employees would be required to work at any location with minimal notice.

Lloyd said the individual contracts would run for five years and in addition workers would lose the 16% pay equity increases over two years that was recently awarded to them in a union-run case by the New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission.

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