Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pay rate for Early Childhood Teachers (ECT)

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.


Anonymous said...

ECTs are paid according to their qualifications and years of experience. A 3yr trained ECT is on a lower pay rate than a 4yr trained. You start on step 1 and work your way up to step 9 (for 4yr trained). It depends upon which award you are working under (which state, which employer etc). Casual ECTs are paid on a different rate to compensate for lack of holiday pay and other benefits to a certain maximum which I cant remember.

State awards can be looked up on the internet or you can get them from the Independent Education Union.

I highly recommend that all ECTs join the union. They fight for better pay, protect you within your employment, and provide you with advice and guidance. I have been a union member since 2006 and they have helped me by looking at employment contracts before I've signed them, advice, protection from bullying and harrassment, advice in dealing with difficult co-workers etc. The union can be your best friend.



CheaYee said...

Hi thanks..

i did realise there is the Step 1 thingy, though I don't exactly understand it or how long it takes to complete one step.

Good to see another ECT having a blog... rare to see one though. ^^

Anonymous said...

Hey it takes 12 months of full time employment for each step. So if you work parttime it takes you twice as long ... So if you are doing casual work, you need to keep records of your work ~ payslips and maybe diary entries in your calender which indicates your hours and that will take you up a step.

When I graduated, I moved up a few steps because I already had a Diploma and many years full time experience, so if you have a Diploma and you then get your Bach or Ed/Tea then you get one step for every two years of full time employment I think. It's been over 5 years since I started as an ECT, but I've been in ECE for 12 and its all one great big blur!

If you don't notify your employer (the agency) that you've worked the full-time equivalent, then they won't pay you the next step up. You usually don't go up a step naturally unless you are with the same employer and they should authomatically move you up a step.

I hope that this all made some sort of sense to you!

Thanks ~ There are lots of ECE bloggers in the states, but yeah, I've not found many in Australia.

CheaYee said...

I'm in my early 30s now. You must be around there? *kekeke*.
Anyways, my agent kinda raised my salary by one or two dollars in my first six months with them in 2008. Then I went away for a while for about 18months, and returned to sydney.
My salary is the same as when I left then. my pay slips are emailed to me, so I have a copy of all my payslips in my web mail account, of course.
However, the thing is, even with some agents, they pay abt 34 dollars over without having to go through any Step. My current salary is nowhere near 30+ per hour as you may well guess.... Zzz. But that's also among the Reasons why a lot of centres use them.

Anonymous said...

I assume that the rate you mentioned is pretty low?

In the UK, chlid care practitioners get paid minimum wage. Less, if they're young!

And spending years attaining qualifications usually gives them a tiny increment.

Something which is hard to be optimistic about if you're 'reaching a certain age'!


Unknown said...

what does ECT stand for ?

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