Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone’s wants to import key childcare workers rather than support a decent pay package and career structure for Australians.
Buried in the Minister’s announcement yesterday afternoon for increased
skilled migration numbers is the detail that for the first time the Government
will add Childcare Co-ordinators to their Migration Occupations in Demand List.
” There are hundreds of skilled Australians who could fill that position.”
Jim Lloyd, NSW LHMU Child Care Union President, said today.
” Good skilled people have left an industry they love because of the poor pay and poor career structure.
” The Howard Government’s solution is not to attract them back to this vital industry by supporting improved career structures and wages – but to find cheap alternatives overseas.”
A Child Care Co-ordinator in NSW can get paid as little as $28,000 a year.
The current NSW LHMU Child Care Union pay equity campaign is arguing for a
minimum of $50,000 a year.
Mr Lloyd pointed out that the idea of importing Child Care Co-ordinators was
not a well thought out policy.
” The Immigration Department’s own
paper work issued yesterday, implicitly points to a problem.
” All other occupation categories have an ‘Assessing Authority’ listed
in the paper work but there is no ” Assessing Authority’ listed for Child
” The Department wants to bring these people in from overseas but doesn’t
seem to know how to assess their qualifications!!!
” The community supports pay increases for childcare professionals, who are paid as low as $12 per hour. The Howard Government should back the community’s judgement and stop opposing wage increases for these low-waged workers.
” The NSW Child Care Union is currently running a pay equity campaign which
would see increases of more than $100 a week for child care workers, and
considerably more for Child Care Co-ordinators.
” More than 15,000 NSW childcare workers would benefit from this increase.
” Our union has recently won historic pay increases for this group of workers
in Victoria and the ACT, and we’re now moving forward to a major pay equity case
in NSW,” Jim Lloyd said.
” This is the correct strategy for the child care crisis – not sending
immigration officers scrambling around the globe to find qualified child care