Fresh faces

welcomed to Council

Being part of the union collective over the years has really helped many colleagues.

IEU Council on 25 August welcomed no less than 17 new or returning delegates to its ranks.

The new councillors were treated to wide ranging and in depth discussions on a variety of matters impacting on teachers and support staff, including some industrial issues facing various branches, such as the Hands of Christ program in the Sydney Catholic Diocese; changes to ATAR and the impacts on VET teachers; learning progressions; the new federal education minister; temporary teaching positions and the ACTU’s Change the Rules campaign.

Delegates showed their support for this campaign and the need to fix inadequate industrial relations legislation. Many noted that temporary employment was a growing problem for both teachers and support staff.

Among the new councillors were two young teachers at the start of their careers.

Anna Luedi of St Mary’s Catholic Primary North Sydney and Daniel Woolley of Barker College are both 28.

Science teacher Woolley joined the IEU upon graduation two years ago because he sees the “great benefit of teachers getting together to support each other”.

Luedi and Woolley both said information is key to creating a better workplace and attending Council had provided them with new insights they could take back to their schools.

They said young people were hesitant to join unions because of the heavy financial burden they faced early in their careers.

“They can be persuaded when the benefits of being involved with a collective are highlighted,” Luedi said.

Andrew Frawley of St Marys Primary School Bellingen has been an IEU Rep for 30 years and has recently increased his interest in the IEU’s wider activities following feedback and conversations with members from different schools in his branch.

His wife Ann-Marie, who is also a Rep at St Augustine’s Primary School Coffs Harbour, attended Council as an observer.

“It’s great seeing the bigger picture,” she said.

Pam Adams of John Paul College Coffs Harbour has been an IEU member since she started teaching in 1984.

She learnt her lessons young. As a 16 year old she questioned her pay in her part time job and was no longer offered any shifts. She then went to work at a unionised Big W and noticed the difference in the way staff were treated.

“Being part of the union collective over the years has really helped many colleagues. There have also been some wonderful role models in my chapter.”

As women’s rep, Adams is passionate about women’s rights and was inspired by the IEU’s Women’s Conference, which she has attended four times.