IEU members stand for federal parliament

Peter Tsambalas is the Labor candidate for Hughes (in Sydney's south, currently held by independent MP Craig Kelly), and a teacher at Aquinas Catholic College, Menai.

"As educators, we care deeply about equity, fairness and justice for all students.

We are public servants who engage with learners to enable their understanding and application of knowledge, concepts and processes.

We all want current and future generations to succeed, and we know the transformative impact that education has on our lives. A great education, from early education right through to university or TAFE, is the ticket to a lifetime of opportunity.

As an IEU representative, I serve to protect our co-workers and improve rights at work. In representing worker interests, I help make my school a more attractive place to work, reducing turnover and increasing the school staff's commitment to success. I help our union set the standards for education, skill levels, wages, working conditions, and quality of life for all in our schools.

Healthy industrial relations play a pivotal role in how we all live our lives. This affects the quality and quantity of teachers that are available. Catholic schools in NSW expect a workforce shortfall of around 15 percent by the end of the decade, driven by the retirement of baby boomer teachers and a lack of candidates willing to join the profession to replace them.

However, as you would all know, unions can only do so much. In my area, lacking local member and federal government support for union objectives has been a strong hindrance to achieving the goals we aspire to.

I see my candidature for the ALP in my local seat of Hughes as an extension of my work with the IEU and the union movement generally, wanting the best for my students, community and future generations.

I care about our future. I strongly believe that only a federal Labor government can deliver a better and more resilient future, with more opportunities to grow and prosper.

These are not solely union objectives; every Australian wants a strong economy. After almost a decade of flat wages and rising costs, people feel like they just can’t get ahead. The economy should work for you, not the other way around. The plight of the nurses and rail workers are examples of the economy not working for them.

I am proud to represent the IEU and people of Hughes as an ALP candidate at the approaching federal election. It is a wonderful opportunity to represent my local, school and teaching communities in federal parliament."

Laura Hughes is the Labor candidate for New England

(from Scone up to the Queensland border). She teaches at St Nicholas Primary School, Tamworth.

"It was wonderful to speak to IEU members at the Council meeting on 19 March to discuss teacher shortages and workload intensification. IEU members feel strongly that the Morrison Government should have foreseen these issues and supported the university sector to train more teachers. They feel unsupported by the Morrison Government. As a teacher, I completely understand their plight.

New England is not Labor or progressive heartland, but there are a lot of people who are asking, ‘What’s Barnaby [Joyce] done for us?’ So we’re going to think positive.”