The success of any union is determined by the strength of its membership. The IEU has strong membership with more than 30,000 members in NSW and ACT, and it is important to ensure that this strength is maintained into the future, as the education sector continues to diversify and grow.
With this in mind, the Union has formed a Recruitment and Retention Committee in order to ensure that our services, professional development and industrial action are of value to all members and potential members. Assistant Secretary Liam Griffiths is the chair of the committee, which will include input from organisers, membership, publications and professional officers.
The committee has met a number of times already in 2016 and is in the process of formulating a recruitment and retention plan for 2017. This plan will guide the IEU’s recruitment strategy for the year, but the committee has already started putting some ideas into practice.
One example is through the use of mobile surveys to gather information about new members. New members are now being surveyed each month to identify the sectors that they work in, the reasons why they are joining the IEU, and what kinds of services they expect to receive in return for their membership. Keith Heggart, an organiser on the committee, said, “I think this information will be really useful for us – firstly to identify what new members expect from their Union, but also to identify who isn’t joining the Union. What the committee plan to do is to identify any missing sections of the education sector, and then we can target our recruitment efforts there, educating potential members about the benefits of joining the IEU”.
In addition, the committee is surveying members who have resigned from the IEU. The committee decided that it was important to know the reasons why people were leaving the IEU, whether that was down to retirement, changing work, moving interstate or dissatisfaction with some aspect of the IEU’s service.
Liam said: “What this information will give us is a better overall picture of how our membership is changing in relation to the educational sector as a whole. This will let us fine tune our services so that we can ensure that we are providing the services that members want and need, and in a way that is cost effective”.