Early childhood educator and United Voice member, Marian Rakosi, spoke at the NSW Labor Conference on the weekend of the 27th of July. Read her speech here...
My name is Marian Rakosi and I am speaking in support of the report.
I am an early childhood educator and a proud United Voice member. I grew up in a little housing commission unit in Mt Druitt in Western Sydney.
We didn't have much but my Mum made me feel like I had everything. She let me use our linen cupboard as storage for all my craft materials, my books, my blocks ...
All the great open-ended materials I now provide children with as an educator.
Through joining and leading in my union, United Voice, I learned that the meaning of power was simply the ability to act.
I decided to stand up and speak out for our 97%, female dominated profession that had been historically undervalued and underpaid as "women's work".
Today I stand here as a proud Labor member. I'm proud that it was Labor that established the National Quality Framework; ensuring early education is delivered to high standards for children nationwide.
I'm proud that it was Labor that set up the Early Years Quality Fund as the first step towards supplementing the shockingly low wages of educators.
BUT Delegates ...
The Abbott government ripped our pay rises away.
It's one thing to hurt us but it's a whole other thing to hurt the children.
Now, this same government is attempting to wreck these great Labor reforms for early education.
We know that the Productivity Commission Inquiry ignores the key issue of QUALITY and wants to rollback the requirement for higher qualifications of educators working with children under 3yrs old when we know that 85% of brain development occurs under the age of 5!
This is an issue of national significance.
I urge you to support our call for the federal government to fund recurrent professional wages for early educators to ensure the highest standards of quality education for our youngest Australians.