Young Rep Amy Mead was looking forward to her first IEU Council meeting in March but a bout of ill health prevented her from attending.
She hopes to be there at the June meeting because as an enthusiastic IEU Rep Amy is keen to encourage other young teachers like herself to join the Union.
“It’s not just up to people in their 40s and 50s to be in the Union, we need young people to start joining.”
Amy joined the IEU as soon as she became a teacher six years ago, and has found the support, especially helping her through accreditation, invaluable.
She attended the IEU’s PIP Maintenance of Accreditation which she said gave her a “great overview” of the process and has since gained registered maintenance hours by attended other IEU PIPS like Cyber Safety provided near her school in Newcastle.
She was inspired by the work of experienced Rep Belinda Ryan at her first school, St Paul’s Primary Rutherford. She became co-Rep at her second school, St Paul’s Primary Gateshead.
Now she has a permanent job at St Aloysius Catholic Primary School, Chisholm, she has become the co-Rep there too, working with Larissa Quigley.
“I wanted to learn a bit more about the industrial side of things, apart from everyday teaching.
“It’s so important for young people to understand that the conditions they enjoy when they start teaching, like paid maternity leave and other rights we take for granted, are there because previous teachers, male and female, have fought for them.
“Things like paternity leave for young male teachers are very important too.
“We need to maintain them for ourselves or else we will lose them. Young teachers need to have their say and be heard. We are the future of the Union.
“For young teachers it’s great to have someone you can fall back on, ask questions about your employment and receive other benefits like the help with accreditation, access to the teacher exchange program, publications, things like that.”