As ECTs are rare as Diploma qualified staff abound, I am and is always happy to meet another ECT. Our conversations are always towards amiable should our circumstances be similar in that aspect.
Recently, I did meet one in her early forties. She is Australian-Greek, and is working for a centre part time (three days) and the other two days, she works casual for an agent (not the same as mine).
For someone in her forties, she noted that she was fine with working three days a week, as having to work a 5 day week was much too tiring.
However she did noted to me that casual ECTs should earn at least AUD34/hour minimum.
She earned her degree in the same year as I did (2008), but was working as a Diploma qualified prior to that. Stating that we (ECTs) don't spend two to three extra years at university waiting on a degree to earn peanuts;
for as working permanent part-time for a non-for-profit childcare centre as an ECT, she earns about $30, in which case, she stated that I should think of looking for an employer which pays on a similar level.
Some thoughts are running through my mind now. To say, I must mention that perhaps it is also dependent on the number of years we have worked, as there are many contributing factors.
I must however add too that when one starts out as a fresh graduate, it is perfectly fine to be paid a lower salary. However, as we gain confidence in our skills, our salary should commensurate, and looking for an employer that pays appropriately should take priority in those circumstances.
As the chinese proverb says, "wool grows on a sheep" (羊毛出在羊身上), there are expectations to be met when one's earning is of a certain threshold, and hopefully we would have the ability to take it in stride.