Gladstone early childhood educators to walk off the job
FOR the first time, Gladstone's early childhood educators affiliated with the United Voice union will walk off the job in a bid to secure higher wages.
United Voice has organised an Australia-wide walk-off and rally as part of the Big Steps Campaign on Tuesday.
According to United Voice, early childhood educators are paid only half the average national wage.
Two of Gladstone's early childcare educators, who asked not to be named, said it was all about equal pay and equal rights.
"(We want people) to realise we actually do a good job and we are probably worth a little bit more than what we do get paid," one worker said.
She said the rally was aimed at convincing the Federal Government to fund a wage increase in the sector rather than at parents to wear higher fees.
When asked what a difference extra pay would make to her, one worker said it would mean she could actually save money instead of it all just coming in and going out.
"A lot of people in this industry work from pay cheque to pay cheque, at the end of the week after everything goes out you are scrounging just to buy milk and bread," she said.
"A lot of our money actually goes into the (childcare) centres, what we get paid, we go out and buy resources ... even though we do get a generous amount from the company ...
"It's our passion, we want to make the lives of the children better, we want to get better outcomes, so we want to support them by bringing that little bit extra in."
A spokesperson for United Voice said "we're expecting there will be around ten educators walking off (in Gladstone), but many more supporters from the community."
Workers at some early childcare centres in Gladstone said they would not go to the rally, but made no further comment.