Australia : Melbourne childcare centres shut early in pay dispute, forcing parents to leave work early
Updated September 08, 2016 16:36:27
Dozens of parents across Melbourne had to leave work early today when childcare workers walked off the job for the first time in almost 20 years.
The strike was part of an ongoing national campaign to improve pay rates for early childhood educators.
The action coincided with Equal Pay Day and shut down five childcare centres in Brunswick and in the city's south-east from 3:20pm.
The United Voice union's Victorian secretary Jess Walsh said 3:20pm was the time a man could knock-off and still receive the same pay a woman received for a full day of work.
"Educators earn about $20 an hour and that's for educating and developing the next generation of Australians."
"They're on about half the average wage and so their Equal Pay campaign is about calling on the community and the Government to close that gender pay gap," Ms Walsh said.
Monash Caulfield Child Care Centre director Rukmini Bose-Rahman said one reason childcare workers were underpaid was due to a lack of awareness about the value of their work.
"Recently there's been things on the television about how it's all about changing nappies and playing with children," she said.
"It's so much deeper than that. It would be lovely if we could change those perceptions a little bit, explain to people in the community how we run educational programs."
First posted September 08, 2016 16:35:14