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Childcare workers could be set for a substantial pay rise as multi-employer bargaining begins

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Lowrey, Tom
Publication Date: 
27 Sep 2023


Childcare workers pursuing a pay rise of up to 25 per cent have taken a step forward as the Fair Work Commission clears the path for a new kind of pay negotiation to begin.

It could provide a breakthrough for a sector where both unions and employer groups agree a significant boost in wages is urgently needed.

The commission has signed off on unions and employers negotiating a new pay deal through a "multi-employer bargaining" process — the first time new industrial relations laws introduced last year have been put to use.

It allows workers in the same industry, but spread across multiple employers, to broker pay deals as a group.

These negotiations will involve 64 centres employing 12,000 people, and there are hopes that if it is successful it could provide a model to roll out more extensively across the industry.

The employer groups involved in the negotiations are broadly supportive of a pay increase, arguing it is critical to attract more workers to the industry and address chronic staff shortages.


"It is absolutely imperative, considering that payroll and wages are the absolute majority of our costs out there, that the government works with us to ensure that what we can negotiate through this process is supported and funded accordingly and does not come at the cost of families," Mr Mondo said.