Pre-school teachers in the state of Victoria in Australia are to strike on August 13th. The strike is the result of atwo year dispute over pay parity with colleagues in the primary sector. Pre-school teachers have not had a raise for two years. The pay gap is 8% for entry level teachers and as much as 13.5% for more experienced staff, despite being equally qualified with primary colleagues.

In a statement on its website, the teachers union, the Australian Education Association, said:

Last year more than 1000 preschool teachers took to the streets in Melbourne to call for a resolution to these same negotiations. Two years without a wage increase is too long. When wages fall so far behind, we run the risk of losing qualified early childhood teachers and new graduates to other teaching roles. That is not good for Victoria's youngest learners.This is more than a wage dispute. It's more than a pay campaign. Victorian children will be the ones that miss out if preschools cannot attract and retain an experienced and qualified workforce.

This strike once again draws attention to the low priority and status too often given to teachers of early years, even though it is arguably the most important and most skilled form of teaching. A similar dispute happened earler this year in Germany. 

During the strike, the teachers will hold a rally and protest outside the state parliament.