Flashback in time

Holy Spirit College, Bellambi has 132 members. Four of these members recently received 30 year badges joining seven of their colleagues who had already received them in recent years.

The Holy Spirit Chapter is a proud and active chapter and demonstrated their staunch support in impressive numbers for our campaign to ensure our right to arbitration at the two stop work rallies held in Wollongong in 2017.

The presentation of 30 year badges gives us pause to consider what things were like when these members joined their Union. Here is a brief snap shot of where things were in 1988.

Independent Teachers Association (now IEU) had just over 12,000 members. Today membership stands in excess of 30,000 members.

The annual salary for a four and five year trained teacher at the top of the scale was $31,975; for a two and three year trained teacher at the top of the scale - $28,280; for a one year trained (yes, one year trained) teacher at the top of the scale $20,386. The starting salary for a two and three year trained teacher was $18, 698; four and five year trained – $22,368.

The top tax bracket (49%) kicked in for people earning more than $35,000. ITA and AIS won payment of 3% superannuation from 1 July 1988. 'The Joint Fund' become NGSSF – Non-Government Schools Superannuation Fund, known today as NGS Super.

In Australia’s Bicentennial year, ITA established an Aboriginal Education Committee.

ITA identified 111 classes in Sydney with 35 or more students, including four with 39 – 40 students.

The Unsworth government in NSW was defeated. Nick Greiner became the new Premier. The new Education Minister, Terry Metherill, embarked on his program of education ‘reform’ and ITA called for rallies on 27 July (including at Petersham Town Hall, Western Suburbs Leagues Club Newcastle, Parramatta Town Hall, Federated Iron Workers Wollongong) to oppose Metherill’s education changes and funding cuts.

ITA also donated $2,500 to the South African Congress of Trade Unions to assist them in galvanising South African Teacher Unions in the fight against apartheid.

ITA opened an office in Western Sydney in the Queensland Arcade, Church Street Mall, Parramatta.

Dave Towson