Amy Martin is proud to represent her profession and her union publicly, having no qualms about addressing a large crowd outside NSW Parliament House on International Women’s Day (IWD) in March.
Martin is a member of the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Early Childhood Sector Council, a body which consults on and advocates for early childhood teachers, and is made up of practicing teachers.
The low pay in the early childhood sector is due to the female domination of the workforce, so Martin had no second thoughts when requested to speak on behalf of the IEUA at the Sydney IWD event.
A Teacher/Director at Goodstart Early Learning Centre Cromer on Sydney’s northern beaches, Martin said the support of the IEU had been invaluable to her throughout her 13 year career as a teacher.
“If somebody is investing time and effort in me, I’m going to invest time and effort in them,” she said.
“The pressure on teacher/directors can be overwhelming, and the role is undervalued. We need to make a change and the IEU gives us an opportunity to make our voices heard.”
When she first graduated from Charles Sturt University in 2007, Martin was a member of Uniting Voice, but after consulting them for help, she realised the IEU was better qualified to support teachers. She has since convinced several colleagues to join.
“When I returned from maternity leave in 2017, a lot of things had changed in the profession and most of the information I was getting about accreditation and other changes was coming from the union, so I thought being part of Early Childhood Council would provide a wealth of information.
“It’s great being able to share ideas about the profession with teachers from all parts of NSW and the ACT, rural and regional.
“It feels great to have the opportunity to have a forum to make a difference. And being in the union generally – the amount of times I’ve just picked up the phone and there’s support available, it’s great. For teachers working in a private, rural centre, it would be massive.”
“It’s all about people power, the more members we have the more we can achieve change and decrease the pay disparity with school teachers.”
She would encourage all teachers to join the union. For details email firstname.lastname@example.org