Slush fund for trainees

A trend has emerged with schools employing young workers on traineeships. Currently it appears to be mainly secondary schools, but I am sure this will soon spread to primary schools.

Traineeships are a maximum of two years. Some of these traineeships are school specific and trainees may well continue their employment in schools. Due to the fact that they are employed on the low rate of $13.48 an hour for a Year 12 graduate, the Union is offering trainees Union membership reflective of their low wages at $2.50 a week.

I urge all members who have trainees at your school to recommend they join the Union. Explain how the Union offers industrial advice and guidance, professional support and protection. They are very vulnerable and we as Union members can show our solidarity in a much more tangible way. May I suggest your chapter set up a ‘slush fund’ to pay for their membership. All said and done, $2.50 is much less than a coffee, but the benefits to this minority group can be lifelong. This is not a challenge, but a way of showing social justice to our fellow employees.

Dates to remember

The Support Staff Conference planning is well under way, with keynote speakers being booked and advertising material developed. However, there is a change in date for the Conference this year. The date will now be Friday 13 September. Register early, as missing out will be a disappointment. IEU conferences always fill up quickly.

School support staff are more than welcome to attend any of the IEU Women’s forums offered throughout NSW and ACT. The next one will be the Newcastle Women’s Forum, 21 May. This will be followed by Mid North Coast, 31 May at Coffs Harbour; North West, date to be advised for Term 3 in Armidale; Western Sydney, 23 October at Emerton and ACT 2019 arrangements will be confirmed soon. The guest speakers and workshops offered at these forums are always informative and fun. Plus it is a great time for networking and we all know how invaluable networking is.

We are joining with Education International in celebrating Education Support Staff Day on 16 May this year, which will be the first time it has been recognised as a global day of recognition and so is sure to be the biggest and best yet. Newsmonth, IEU Facebook and Instagram look forward to photos and comments about the day.

Carolyn Collins
Vice President Support Staff