On behalf of local government child care members, the ASU met with the Federal Minister's office to confirm that local government would not miss out on the early childhood funding applications.
Please see our earlier item on this issue here: ASU meets with the Minister for Early Childhood and Youth.
We stated that ASU negotiated enterprise bargaining agreements (EBAs), the NSW State Award and local council agreements would meet the test for applications. Additional EBAs are not required to apply for the funding.
Incorrect information is still circulating. Child care workers have been advised that a new or additional agreement will need to be negotiated before application is made for the funding. The implication is funding to assist improvements to pay and conditions might be indefinitely delayed by the employer.
There is no need to negotiate a new EBA in fact this can slow the process
The Minister's office confirmed that existing local government awards and EBAs will meet requirements and, in fact, ASU instruments will allow local government to take advantage of an assessment process akin to fast-tracking.
Local governments should lodge their applications now. That's right! This minute.
Local government employers should be making the applications now and working with ASU members to complete them. The special provisions for early childhood educators employed directly by local government and covered by an ASU negotiated instrument means that local government child care workers are positioned ahead of others in the private sector without collective agreements.
The ASU held another round of discussions with the Federal Government to ensure complete clarity with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. Discussions where held by ASU Assistant National Secretary Greg McLean and a senior department director, who will manage calls and enquires from ASU state organisers and union officials. Contact details have been supplied to all key state officials working with early childhood education and care members.
Local government should use the application form 'Submitting without an agreement' which takes account of local government's position and existing industrial instrument. If and when councils are successful in their funding applications, an appendix will need to be attached to the industrial instrument. ASU Branches can work with local governments on such variations. For those Branches operating in their state systems, similar compliance will be required but the above format will follow.
More information and factsheets: http://deewr.gov.au/early-years-quality-fund