Labour Day march in Toowoomba.  Saturday 30 Apr , 2016.
Labour Day march in Toowoomba. Saturday 30 Apr , 2016. Nev Madsen

Toowoomba childcare centres to close for wages strike

SEVERAL childcare centres in Toowoomba are set to close early this afternoon as workers walk off the job to attend a strike.

A United Voice spokeswoman confirmed five centres in Toowoomba would close from the early afternoon, though she would not name the centres.

"The centres have been working directly with parents about arrangements," the spokeswoman said.

Staff from the five centres will join union officials, centre families and more for a rally at the Toowoomba Railway Station on Russell St at 2.45pm.

They will join 7000 other early childhood educators across the country who will walk off the job in the sector-wide, national walk off to fight for equal pay.

United Voice assistant national secretary Helen Gibbons said early childhood educators were some of the poorest paid in the country, and new polling by the union suggested about 75 per cent of Australians agreed their pay should rise.

"Educators around Australia will take unprecedented action today and walk off for the fourth time in 18 months, to say time is up on this gender pay gap," she said.

"The new poll shows just how much (Australians) get this. They value the vital work of early childhood educators. It's time our government got it too.

"Australia's educators must have qualifications, yet they earn as little as $22 an hour and are some of the lowest paid professionals in the country. Time is up on these appalling wages."

Ms Gibbons said the Federal Government had not done enough to fund early childhood educators.

"So we will mobilise to change the government," she said.

"We are serious about putting Scott Morrison out of office. Between now and election day there will be 100,000 educators talking to millions of Australian parents about how this government has failed educators on equal pay."