One for the history books

Here we are at the end of Term 2 – and what a term it has been.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone who took time out for the two stop work days and especially to the thousands of you who attended the rallies around NSW and the ACT.

These rallies would not have been the success they were if it wasn’t for you attending, wearing yellow, joining in the chants and songs and taking the time to make amazing posters and signs, speaking at the rallies and marching shoulder to shoulder with colleagues and members of the NSW Teachers Federation.

What a momentous occasion it was for members from the two unions to unite and ask for better working conditions, to be paid what we are worth, to give our support staff a better deal and to end the staff shortages that are having a profound effect on teachers’ workloads and eating into their preparation and planning time.

Our students deserve better and so do our teachers and support staff. Without your support and belief in the union, these stoppages would not have been as successful as they were. Let’s hope that our voices have been heard and we look forward to changes for the better in the very near future.

Thanks must go to all the IEU staff who worked hard to make the rallies the success they were. Special thanks to the IEU organisers from both Victoria and Queensland who assisted at the rallies. Well done to all.

What would we do without our amazing support staff? Every day they’re working with our students, keeping the front offices and reception areas a welcoming place for parents, students and visitors, keeping the photocopying machines running and assisting teachers with their every request.

They take care of sick and injured students, answer the never-ending phone calls, and keep our schools in tip top condition, taking care of the grounds and the daily rubbish run, mowing lawns and keeping the gardens in pristine condition. They’re always there to change a light bulb or fix the technology that just won’t work when needed for a lesson. They are the backbone of our schools, and they deserve a fair deal and better pay.

I hope that you all take time for yourselves during the break, sit down and read that book you've been wanting to read, go for a long walk, have coffee with friends and just enjoy yourselves.

Once again thank you for your support and I look forward to continuing to work with you.