Step up, be counted

Here we are at the end of Term 1. It’s hard to believe, with everything that has happened. Rain, rain and more rain has caused devastating floods in many parts of NSW, with many homes and livelihoods as well as schools and early childhood centres lost or badly damaged. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have suffered.

Our Lismore office, opened last year, had water 2 metres deep inundating the entire second floor.

My sincere thanks go out to four amazing IEU staff members – Steve Bergan, Richard Ryan, Carolyn Moore and Cassie Barnes – for their efforts and long hours cleaning, removing furniture and carpet and rescuing anything they could.

This was all on top of still being available to members coming to terms with the enormity of the floods. Life goes on for all in many different circumstances and it brings out the true Aussie spirit in most people. We look forward to better days, months and years ahead.

The Catholic systemic schools campaign is gearing up for all teachers and support staff.

The key demands are:

  • pay teachers what they're worth
  • give support staff a fair deal
  • let teachers teach – cut paperwork
  • allow time to plan – reduce the teaching load by two hours per week
  • end staff shortages.

It is most important that all members in Catholic systemic schools take part in this campaign. Organisers are visiting schools and organising chapter meetings to explain the process.

I urge all Catholic systemic members to attend these meetings, read the NewsExtras emailed to you and read Newsmonth, which will explain the process and important dates. If you need further clarification on any points, please contact your Organiser who will be happy to help.

It was great to catch up with many of you at the recent sub branch meetings. I would like to congratulate and thank the members who put their hand up to fill the positions of President, Deputy President, Secretary and to join committees. This is an added opportunity for members to come together and network, listen and share what is happening in schools in your area.

Elections for delegates to Council will be held in Term 2 so please watch for information regarding this process (click here). It is our hope that all positions from every sub branch will be filled. These meetings are held four times a year in Sydney and again a great opportunity to become more involved in your union.

The holidays are fast approaching and well deserved so I wish you all a good and restful holiday to prepare for Term 2 which is always busy with parent teacher interviews, NAPLAN testing, semester exams and, of course, teaching.

Take care and keep doing the fantastic job that you do day in day out.