Union works hard to protect support staff

Australia has faced unprecedented droughts, fires, floods, dust, hail and now a pandemic. Our tolerance, patience and resilience are certainly being challenged.

The IEU would like to acknowledge and thank all teachers and school support staff for the extraordinary amount of work they have done for our students, as we move into the new hybrid education arrangement called remote learning.

We have witnessed how all education staff have come together in sharing knowledge, resources and expertise. This not only applies to teaching staff, but to support staff officers, who may not have a teaching degree but have a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience.

As staff move through this crisis, we need time and resources to do our work effectively. There are no excuses for our employers to deny us online training. This is a time for professional development, and especially for school support staff. A comprehensive list of suggested duties for non teaching staff has been posted on the IEU website and social media.

It is not 'business as usual' and won’t be for some time, but with resilience and solidarity we will move forward, teaching and nurturing our students and caring for our school communities. The IEU is doing all in its power to protect members’ jobs and working hours, as well as safeguarding against stand downs and layoffs. Our union is open for business, so contact us about any employment concerns you might have.

The IEU has made an important announcement regarding fee exemptions for casual teaching and casual school support staff, who are financial members and have been adversely affected by the current crisis. These members can apply for a six-month exemption from their union fees. Please apply as soon as possible.

On behalf of support staff members, I would like to thank the IEU for working so diligently to support members throughout this extraordinary and constantly evolving time.

One of my gravest concerns is for the millions of refugees throughout the world. If life was dire for them before the coronavirus, it is even more so now. Please consider sponsoring organisations such as Union Aid Abroad – APHEDA. Just do what you can.

Please take care. Don’t take chances. Follow social distancing. Stay at home. Stay safe.

Carolyn Collins
Vice President Support Staff