On Tuesday night over 30 Childcare Educators across local government met via Zoom to discuss how their centres are managing during this time, and to share their concerns and issues in their workplaces
What we heard from members is that Councils are offering different leave arrangements for different scenarios, different hygiene practices, and different approaches to Personal Protective Equipment and how and when it’s used.
A summary of the main issues the ASU heard from members included potential loss of pay due to shut down, appropriate PPE given to staff particularly to older workers or those with vulnerable health conditions, and alternative duties to high-risk groups of workers.
Members agreed that we need to have a consistent ask and approach to Councils and came up with the following set of claims demanding Councils commit to:
- Normal pay to be maintained (not leave) in the event of a childcare shutdown
- Alternative duties for workers who fall in the high-risk group defined by DHHS. If alternative duties cannot be found, special COVID-19 leave to be provided
- Extra PPE provided to staff who are in the high-risk group
- Hazardous pay to be paid to Educators in the frontline who are at increased risk
- The ASU will be writing to CEOs with the list of our claims.
- The ASU has written to Dan Tehan, The Minister of Education asking for his support and will let you know his response once received.
- Members and delegates are asked to go back to their workplaces and talk about these claims, Contact HSRs- know who they are and keep in touch with them about any OHS issues
- Does your centre have an ASU Delegate? If not, and you want to become a delegate please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org