It pays to stay in the Union if you become a parent

Members on maternity leave often cancel their Union membership, believing they do not need it as they are not working.

When they seek flexible working arrangements upon returning to work and get declined, or worse, get an ultimatum – come back full time or resign – they call the Union.

The cancelled member no longer qualifies for Union advice. If the non member rejoins the Union, the level of support is limited, because the non member policy applies to assistance with issues existing prior to membership.

It pays to stay in the Union if you become a parent. Having support when you do return to work is one less thing to worry about. Here’s why.

You keep your original join date so the non member policy will not apply.

You pay a small one off annual, tax deductible fee that is less than one tenth of a gym membership.

You get all the support you need from letter writing to notifying a breach or challenging a decision.

You stay up to date with all your workplace changes so there are no surprises when you return.

You continue to access the PD you need, especially when on average teachers take two years of leave for each child. While your partner takes over for an hour or two, you can complete all Union run PD online, and in your pyjamas, if you want to. This is so important as it keeps you connected to the profession and clocking NESA accredited hours.

You continue to receive the suite of Union publications, which you can use as teacher identified PD; another reason to stay in your pyjamas!

So, if you are reading this while on leave, possibly still in your pyjamas, then awesome, you are still a member. If you are reading this and know of colleagues who are on leave, have a chat to them about their Union status. They can email to update and remain current.

I mean honestly, when you get back in the saddle, do you want boot camp or low impact training?

Lubna Haddad