John Paul Phelan FG TD with SIPTU’s Margaret Young and Urlingford Big Start Activist Mick Kenny
Kilkenny TDs of all political persuasions support the SIPTU BIG START Pre-Budget Submission.
SIPTU is calling on Ministers for Finance Pascal O’Donoghue and Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone to set aside €32 million in the 2020 Budget to ensure the ‘phase-in’ of increases which could bring up hourly pay rates of early years educators to living wage (€12.30 p hr) levels.
Margaret Young of SIPTU said: “Poor pay and conditions in the early years sector has resulted in staff turnover rates of 25%, and 86% of childcare providers in the sector are concerned that the resulting recruitment and retention crisis will impact on the viability of their services.
“The Governments 'First Five' strategy aims to establish quality early years and childcare delivered by a graduate led workforce. However, the average hourly rate of €11.18 forces graduates working in early years to live in poverty and to look elsewhere for decent pay”.
Kathleen Funchion SF TD with Kilkenny Big Start Activist Perle Leahy
SIPTU’s BIG START Campaign aims to transform the early years sector, by campaigning for greater state investment to address the crisis caused by a lack of investment over decades and through the establishment of a Sectoral Employment Order which can establish a framework for increased investment in pay and conditions.
“Our Campaign has gained real momentum throughout 2019, and SIPTU is positioned to apply to the Labour Court for the Order early in 2020,” Pat McCabe, Sector Organiser, SIPTU added.
“Thousands of workers in the sector have joined SIPTU and become active in the campaign. SIPTU are holding a meeting in their offices on Thursday, August 29, at 7pm, to update early years educators and childcare providers in county Kilkenny on the campaign. Local politicians will be attending and speakers will include Marion Quinn from the Association of Childhood Professionals and Darragh O’Connor, Big Start Campaign Co-Ordinator with contributions from Kilkenny Big-Start Activists.”
Bobby Aylward FF TD with Kilkenny SIPTU Big Start Organiser Margaret Young