Mark Wilson is an IEU rep at St Brigid’s Raymond Terrace in the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, delegate to the IEU Council for the Hunter Valley, and a Hunter Workers delegate. He has been an IEU member since 1996, and was an IEU rep at his previous school before moving to St Brigid’s and becoming that school’s IEU rep in 2008. Mark’s passion for unionism has helped his school reach a teacher member density of 93 per cent, with 25 teachers and nine support staff currently members of the IEU.
Mark says he joined the union because of “the profoundly important social role the unions play in the wellbeing of our world”.
He lists the benefits and successes of the union movement, both in education and across society as whole, including: reducing class sizes, guaranteed access to superannuation, long service leave, maternity leave, sick leave, the right to return to work after pregnancy, as well as continued solidarity and support for national and international issues.
“Particularly in primary schools, it’s a predominantly female workforce, and within a generation the improvements made to the lives of working women have been profound.”
Mark says it’s important to address union issues at work to keep the issues alive. He encourages others to be more engaged and to participate in the union process.
“Information goes both ways,” says Mark.
“It’s important and useful to stay in touch with the union office, for members in the school to see the face of the union and keep in touch with what’s happening in the industrial arena across the state, as well as helping the union stay in touch with conditions on the ground in the schools.”