Childcare workers are set to stage a walkout today in protest of low wages leaving thousands of parents across NSW forced to find alternative care for their children.

It’s said to be the biggest industrial walk out to date over the long-running issue and will see at least 30 centres involved in the strike across Sydney, with the centres due to close at lunchtime. Workers will then attend a major rally at Martin Place at 4pm.

Childcare workers are attempting the industrial action after they lost a test case at the Fair Work Commission, where they argued that they should be paid as much as men in the manufacturing industry.

According to the union, United Voice, 40,000 parents will be affected by today’s action. The salary for workers in the childcare industry can be as low as $22 an hour for tertiary trained educators and union boss Helen Gibbons says this is unfair.

“Parents have been informed if their centre will be walking off,” she said. “Educators are walking off the job with the unwavering support of parents who have chosen to keep their children at home for the afternoon so that their educators can participate.”

The strike today will be the fourth in the past 18-months, with 7000 workers across Australia leaving work early and 350 centres closing at lunchtime or in the early afternoon to attend rallies.

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