Young and enthusiastic IEU Rep Anna Luedi joined the union when she was still at university.
“It was only natural for me to join as my father had always educated me regarding how necessary and important unions are to support a healthy democratic political system. It’s the smart thing to do,” Anna said.
She became the Rep at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School North Sydney in 2018 and in 2019 was elected to a position on IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Council’s general executive team.
“I am continuously discussing union membership with my chapter and often personally approaching new staff as well as casuals in our school about being a Union rep. In subbranch meetings we collectively encourage more delegates to Council. I usually mention the IEU support for accreditation, PD and legal support when necessary.
“Increasingly, workload is having a massive impact on teachers’ wellbeing. The class sizes in Catholic schools are large, the learners’ needs are diverse, the support for these learners is not consistent and the meetings related to data, programming and IEPs are ever increasing.”
Anna thinks the best strategies to encourage colleagues to join the union include personal discussions highlighting how the union is supporting teachers, possible problems that might arise where they will need support from the union and why their workplace needs strong membership density so as not to forgo entitlements such as holidays.
She said the challenges for organising and campaigning includes complacency about the need for union membership.
“My advice for reps trying to organise in their workplace would be to keep at it and always speak personally to non members. Ask what is holding them back from joining and then address those specific issues. Ask other vocal, political members to have those discussions.”