Early Years educators have 6 months to double union membership and secure funding for pay. This is the challenge laid down by Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.
Minister Zappone is entering into budget negotiations with the Department of Finance and knows that greater funding is needed to increase pay. However, government need a guarantee that increased funding will go towards pay.
That’s why the Minister for Children is again calling for the sector to seek a Sectoral Employment Order (SEO).
This is a massive opportunity.
Sectoral Employment Order (SEO)
The SEO is the guarantee that government need before it can significantly increase funding for pay. It will set down legal minimum rates of pay and conditions for managers, room leaders and educators.
Some providers are understandably concerned about how an SEO might impact their service but, by law, an SEO rate of pay has to be affordable for providers. There are further protections with an opt-out for providers who are in financial difficultly.
However, to introduce an SEO 1/3 of workers need to be members of SIPTU; this is a legal requirement. We are currently half way to our target and momentum is growing.
The message is clear, if we want the recognition, pay and funding we deserve, we must join SIPTU and get our SEO.
We have a deadline. If we double SIPTU membership within 6 months we can win a historic first pay deal. If we don’t reach our target we will have to wait for the next budget.
This is a historic opportunity.
This year we can establish our first SEO. This will be first of many SEOs that will see pay and funding increase over time.
Today we have a Minister who is supportive of better pay and conditions. However, there are no guarantees that the next Minister for Children will be as supportive.
SIPTU activists and organisers will be visiting services all over the country over the next 6 months.
If you want to arrange a meeting or talk to a SIPTU Organiser please text or call 087 106 9560 or email email@example.com.
If you are already a member, great! You have taken the most important step.
If you are not yet a member we are asking you to join today. The cost just €1 or €1.90 a week depending on how many hours you work.
It’s time our profession was recognised, it’s time to make a stand. The time is now.