SIPTU has confirmed that a ‘fund to support the introduction of a Sectoral Employment Order’ has been established by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
This is a big step forward.
Government now recognises that it has a responsibility to support decent pay and conditions.
Thanks to campaigning by hundreds of SIPTU activists and supporters, we are one step closer to an Sectoral Employment Order (SEO) and pay justice.
But we aren’t there yet.
To improve pay and get our SEO we still need two things; substantial union membership and the necessary government funding.
Building for an SEO in 2020
Almost 5,000 Early Years Educators are now members of SIPTU. If Early Years Professionals keep joining the union we will reach the membership needed to establish the SEO early next year.
But we also need government funding.
The government’s SEO Support Fund is €2.2 million. This is a welcome start, but it won’t be enough to raise everyone to the Living Wage, let alone professional salaries.
That’s why SIPTU is escalating the campaign.
We need this government, and the next, to build on the SEO fund and increase investment so everyone earns at least Living Wage in the short term.
In the long term, we need a new funding model that that supports high quality, affordability, professional pay and sustainable services.
That’s why SIPTU has started talking to its members and activists across the country to plan the next campaign actions.
We have also sought a meeting with Minister Zappone and her officials to discuss the SEO Support Fund.
By mobilising professionals, providers, parents and supporters we will show government that we are a strong and determined group.
By taking action we can make sure that our issues are addressed and Early Years is a big issue in the upcoming election.
We now need to take the next big step forward to win the recognition we deserve.
You can join SIPTU and the campaign for recognition and decent pay at www.bigstart.ie/join.