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Childcare Workers Just Chained Themselves To The Treasurer's Office

Some qualified educators are paid as little as $20 per hour – around half the average wage.

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Childcare workers have chained and padlocked themselves to the entrance of treasurer Scott Morrison's Sydney office to demand he support their application for professional pay.

The 10 childcare workers, who secured the locks on Wednesday morning, said they were protesting on behalf of Australia's 80,000-strong childcare education workforce, 97% of which is female and 70% of which has wages set by awards.

"The time for buck-passing is over. The wages system in Australia’s early childhood system is well and truly broken and it is the treasurer’s responsibility to fix it," national secretary of United Voice Jo-anne Schofield said.

In a pre-budget submission released today, the union has called on the government to increase its investment in early childhood education to 1% of GDP and to "recognise the endemic low pay that characterises gender-segregated occupations" and assume responsibility for addressing this inequity.

The workers unchained themselves just after midday.

Gina Rushton is a breaking news reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Gina Rushton at gina.rushton@buzzfeed.com.

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