Childcare workers’ wages not reflective of importance of work they do – Mitchell
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Denise Mitchell, says her party in Government would tackle the unacceptably low wages in the Early Years sector.
Speaking at the party’s Alternative Budget launch at the Davenport Hotel, Deputy Mitchell said:
“Wages and working conditions in the early years sector are unacceptably low and this needs to change. Staff are doing their very best to maintain high standards under increasingly difficult circumstances.
“The wages paid in the sector are simply not reflective of the importance of the work. Many childcare workers have gone to great lengths to obtain qualifications and training, yet low pay means many do not see a long-term career in childcare being financially viable.
“In order to help address some of the issues around pay, Sinn Féin in anticipation of a much-needed sector-wide pay agreement is proposing a fund of €40.58 million, which would allow for the introduction of, on average, a €1 pay increase across the board for all childcare workers, the equivalent of €2,000 per annum for a full-time worker.
“This is just an initial step. We want a childcare sector which we can be proud of and which is reliable, high quality and affordable to all. In order to bring that about we need to value childcare workers.”