Conflicting claims may scupper child care workers' pay deal

A PROPOSAL to raise child care workers' salaries faces opposition because it could mean lower pay levels for kindergarten teachers.

The proposal, revealed yesterday, also suggested raising the entry qualifications for child care workers by September from Form Three to Five, with two passes in public exams.

The Deputy Director of Social Welfare, Louise Wong Yau Sin-yu, said the Government had proposed a salary scale for both child care workers and kindergarten teachers.

It is understood the suggested salaries ranged from $9,395 to $16,475, compared to $7,295 to $13,535 at present.

The suggestion was less than the present recommended pay scale for trained kindergarten teachers, of $11,315 to $17,290.

Legislator Tik Chi-yuen last night supported moves to raise child care workers' salaries but opposed the lowering of kindergarten teachers' pay, as he said it would devastate their morale.

But the Kindergarten Association's chairman, Wu Chiu-ha, said the suggested pay scale was reasonable as it was more affordable for operators.

The proposal was discussed at an Education and Social Welfare working group meeting, which also received a petition from child care workers to raise entry qualifications.