In 2016 when the Union prepared the voter roll for the Executive elections for the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) we were advised by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) that the roll could not include any member who had indicated that they were retired.
The FWC ruled that once a person retired from the workforce they were ineligible to be a member of the Union, could not hold any office, vote or be represented by the Union.
The IEU can obviously continue to maintain a group of interested retired teachers and support staff as ‘associates’ for social purposes, it cannot treat them as members or offer them full member services under the FWC directive.
We have always appreciated that so many long term members have elected to stay connected to their Union in retirement, however the position of the FWC will require us to establish more formally and precisely our ‘retired’ grouping and to ensure that it consists only of those who have permanently and completely ceased working in the industry.
In the first instance, I urge all those who are currently members in the retired category to review their circumstances and to adjust their membership to the ‘casual’ classification even if they work a day or two only occasionally.