Nearly 200 years of teaching experience and loyal union membership was on show recently when the Baker family gathered at the IEU’s Parramatta office.
The four members of the Baker family (twins Ian and Mark and their wives Bernadette and Trish) received their 40-year IEU membership gifts and enjoyed an afternoon tea with IEU organisers.
Ian (Catholic Schools NSW) joined the IEU in 1978, Bernadette (Holy Cross Primary at Helensburgh) in 1979 and both Mark (tertiary university supervisor and relief principal) and Trish (principal at Cerdon College at Merrylands) in 1981.
Mark met Trish when she was a first year teacher and he was her mentor, while Ian and Bernadette met at teacher training college.
The foursome reflected on the changes they have experienced over their decades in education, particularly the introduction of new technology, and the gains that have been made by the union movement over the years.
When Bernadette and Trish started their careers, the conditions for female teachers were very different compared to today. They both said entitlements like maternity leave wouldn’t have happened without the union’s determined activism, and young teachers would be wise to remember that.