New year, new beginnings, new resolutions

While 2024 ushers in much of the same (seasoned member here), it also brings a few welcome changes, to leave 2023 well behind. It’s just a matter of perspective.

As a teacher who works in a Catholic systemic school, I am a recipient of a protracted, yet well-fought for pay rise, which acknowledges my essential work teaching children, my cultural importance shaping this generation and my contribution to the fabric of society.

A pay rise that keeps me in the profession a little while longer. This is different from 2023.

I also will benefit from improved conditions in an approved enterprise agreement (which will nominally expire in October 2024) and a betterment of working conditions. This seems like a small difference, but it is still important as it maintains my commitment to teach yet another generation of students. My core work. This is the same. It is unwavering.

Another aspect that is comfortably, the same, is the union: I know I can walk confidently into my work environment and know things will be OK. Not for myself but for all union members. To know that being a rare teacher in the current context is a privilege; that we are valued, in all senses of the word. Again, it is the union’s presence which brings strength and stability to all members, in the diversity of work that occurs across all sectors.

I also welcome beginning teachers to the union, even those who are still thinking about joining, reading over the shoulder of their union peers their first Newsmonth (Good, isn’t it!).

Thanks for your support and, hopefully, your activism in years to come.

Your Chapter Rep is the first point of contact regarding workplace concerns; seek them out if you need to, or just make them a valuable friend! The union is here to guide you and make your accreditation-process as pain-free as possible. The union is here to advise and protect your rights, ‘to have your back’, you might say.

While we say hello to beginning teachers, sadly, the IEU has a difference this year – farewell to the Deputy President of the IEU NSW/ACT Branch, Libby Lockwood. Libby is one of those individuals who brings light to complex situations. Libby has resigned her position as Deputy President and Executive member to take on a new area of responsibility in a regional school in Guyra.

I am indebted to Libby for her openness, perseverance and voice of rationality. The Executive has lost a good one but her students have gained a champ. Thank you, Libby, for your productive contributions to Executive meetings, to giving your time to attend union events and Council meetings and for representing the union in an official capacity.

Finally, I acknowledge the IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Executive for 2024: Secretary Carol Matthews, Deputy Secretary David Towson and Assistant Secretary Lyn Caton; adeptly enhanced by the IEU Executive – Helen Templeton, Kylie Booth-Martinez, Michelle Thompson, Denise McHugh, Suzanne Penson, Nicole Downey, Sarah Gardiner, Simon Goss, Elizabeth Heggart, Glenn Lowe, Anna Luedi, Peter Moore, Amanda Wood and Christine Wilkinson.

I anticipate robust discussion around our table, with – always – the best interests of our members in mind.

Have a healthy and satisfying year all!