Present Tense

New year seminar for post-secondary college members

Your union is always looking to improve its services to all members, and to that end the IEU will hold a seminar for members in the post-secondary education sector on Wednesday, 22 January, 2020. The seminar will be held at the IEU offices in Wattle Street, Ultimo, and will start at 4pm, finishing around 6pm.

The seminar will cover several areas of interests to members in ELICOS, Business and VET colleges, including the award and agreements, your legal rights and responsibilities, superannuation, and how the union might be effective in your workplace.

A reminder email will go out to members in the new year, but if you are interested in attending, save the date, and let us know on

Rising from the ashes

The Labor Party has been keeping a low profile since their shock defeat at the Federal election in May, but leader Anthony Albanese has started laying out a few principles that will guide the Party moving forward.

Most relevant for IEU members was Albanese’s announcements on industrial relations. These pronouncements are still very much at the general stage, but he did suggest that some sort of scheme for portable entitlements was on the cards, as a way to better regulate casual work and the ‘gig’ economy.

Albanese also announced a plan to establish a new authority called Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA), which would manage workforce planning and training, and is a development on the ALP’s policy at the last election to establish a wide ranging review into the VET and post-secondary sectors.

There is still some way to go until the next election of course (due in early 2022, though possible in late 2021), and given the results in May, there is of course no guarantee of a change in government, but it is pleasing to see the Opposition emerge from their post-defeat funk and engage with policy again.

Agreement update

Your Union continues to seek benefits for members, most notably in the area of enterprise bargaining. Currently, the IEU is bargaining with several colleges, including Navitas English Services, Navitas English ACT, EC Embassy English, WSU The College, and Sydney English Language Centres (SELC). We hope to see these settled over the summer.

The Fair Work Act includes provisions around ‘good faith bargaining’, under which an employer can be compelled to start bargaining if it can be demonstrated that a majority of employees (or section of employees, such as teachers) want that to happen. To find out how that might work at your college, contact your union on

Season’s greetings

This will be the final Present Tense for the year, but we will be back in 2020 with more news and updates on your sector. We wish all members a merry Christmas and happy New Year.

Kendall Warren