Your pay and conditions
A number of agreements cover members in the early childhood sector, but most assistants (including activity group leaders) and teachers (including preschool field officers and preschool advisers) are now covered by the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Assistants Agreement (VECTAA 2009) or the Local Government Early Childhood Education Employees Agreement (LGECEEA 2009). Members can access these documents plus AEU advice and guidance below.
Teachers and assistants are also covered by a number of awards (see below); however, under the Fair Work Act (section 57), the terms of these awards do not apply if an enterprise agreement is in operation.
Community preschool sector (VECTAA 2009)
Most teachers and assistants in the community-based sector are employed under the Victorian Early Childhood Teachers and Assistants Agreement (VECTAA 2009). This replaces the long-standing MECA 2005, which has been the benchmark for employment standards in the Victorian early childhood sector. For the first time it covers early childhood education assistants, who were previously covered by the Early Childhood Assistants Award 1999.
Local government sector (LGECEEA 2009)
Early childhood teachers, assistants, activity group leaders and preschool field officers employed by the following councils are covered by the Local Government Early Childhood Education Employees Agreement (LGECEEA 2009): Ballarat City; Banyule City; Buloke Shire; Casey City; Corangamite Shire; Glenelg Shire; Golden Plains Shire; Greater Geelong City; Greater Shepparton City; Hume City; Knox City; Loddon Shire; Macedon Ranges Shire; Mitchell Shire; Moonee Valley City; Moyne Shire; Northern Grampians Shire; Towong Shire; Warrnambool City; West Wimmera Shire; Wodonga City; Yarra City; Yarra Ranges Shire; and Yarriambiack Shire Council.
Local government sector (non-LGECEEA)
Where members are employed by a council not party to LGECEEA, the AEU continues to negotiate Enterprise Bargaining Agreements (EBAs) which build links to the provisions of VECTAA 2009 so that they are maintained as the benchmark for early childhood teachers and assistants across the state. Negotiations for EBAs are cyclical; at any one time, one or more council EBA will be under negotiation.
Early intervention agencies
The AEU is also party to approximately 15 agreements with early intervention agencies. These provide the terms and conditions for the early childhood intervention teachers employed by those agencies and are generally similar in terms to VECTAA 2009. Negotiations are ongoing with a number of agencies for agreements in similar terms to the VECTAA.
Small numbers of teacher members are still on agreements dating from 2000, 2002 or 2005.
Teachers in early childhood centres, including preschools, kindergartens, long day care centres and early intervention centres are covered by the Educational Services (Teachers) Award 2010. Note: Schedule B deals with hours of work for settings which operate 48 week per year programs.
Education assistants in settings attached to schools are covered by the Education Services (Schools) General Staff Award 2010. In all other settings, the Children's Services Award 2010 operates.
Note: under the Fair Work Act (section 57), the terms of these awards do not apply if an enterprise agreement is in operation.
Advice, guidance and resources for AEU members
The AEU produces advice sheets, guidance documents, model letters and other resources for early childhood members and sub-branches to use in understanding and getting the most out of the agreement, including a comprehensive Implementation Guide.
Topics covered include:
- Parental leave
- Validation and salary progression
- Hours of work and transitional arrangements
- Downloads of all agreements and awards
- Tools for checking your pay and long service leave entitlements are correct.