SIPTU demands restart of talks to combat “low pay epidemic” in childcare
SIPTU representatives have today demanded that childcare employers restart pay talks for 26,000 Early Years professionals ahead of a crunch meeting of the Early Years Joint Labour Committee (JLC) next Monday (26th September) in Lansdowne House, Dublin.
SIPTU Head of Strategic Organising, Darragh O’Connor, said: “The low pay epidemic in the sector has caused a major staffing crisis, with 60% of services reporting recruitment difficulties. On Monday, the JLC will vote on a rate of €13.65 for Early Years educators and other rates for higher grades on foot of Labour Court recommendations. SIPTU will be voting no to €13.65.
“If employers refuse to engage in meaningful negotiations to agree appropriate rates of pay for Early Years professionals, the staffing crisis will become a full-blown disaster. It is as simple as that.
“We know there is enough state investment to support much higher rates of pay, but the other side seems determined to keep dragging their feet. They want cash with no conditions.
“In Budget 2022, the Department of Children allocated €207 million to childcare providers to support a pay deal. The cost of implementing the 2022 pay rates was a small proportion of the money provided to employers, yet they are refusing to transfer this state investment to staff through further improvements in the minimum pay rates.
“The money is there; it’s time for the Federation and IBEC get back to the table and hammer out a deal that values staff.”