Present Tense Time to meet

The seminar is at 4-7pm on 18 May and will be held atthe IEU’s offices at 485-501 Wattle Street, Ultimo.


On 18 May, the IEU will be holding its annual seminar for members employed in the private post-secondary sector. The seminar will this year incorporate the regular Reps training that the Union offers to IEU Reps in schools, amended to allow for the unique circumstances of ELICOS and other private colleges.

The topics covered will include the role of the Union representative, building capacity, dealing with disputes, managing conflicts and performance issues, and negotiating improved conditions – all the things that will help you use the resources of the Union to more effect in your workplace. The seminar is at 4-7pm on 18 May, and will be held at the IEU’s offices at 485-501 Wattle Street, Ultimo.

Information about how to register will be with all members soon. We hope to see you there.


Your Union is currently involved in negotiations for several enterprise agreements (EAs). The most advanced of these is at Navitas English (formerly known as ACL), where the current EA expires on 30 June. Officers from the Union visited workplaces in late 2014 in order to collate issues for inclusion in the Log of Claims, which was tabled in February.

Management made a preliminary offer of 2% per annum in March, but this has not been accepted by members, especially as it was felt that there are several issues that members would like to see addressed other than salaries. The parties have agreed to meet fortnightly, and it hoped that an agreed settlement can be reached in the next few months. Your Union has also started bargaining at UoW College (attached to the University of Wollongong), and will soon commence discussions at UWS College, UNSW Foundation Studies, EF, Access, Specialty, SELC, SCE, Universal and Insearch. If you would like to know how to get similar arrangements in train at your college, contact the IEU.


In late March, The Australian reported on the large surge of enrolments of international students over the last 18 months or so, a welcome increase after the grim years of 2011 and 2012. In 2013-14, enrolments increased by 27% in language schools, with a further nine per cent last year, while overall enrolments have increased by 10% over the same period. There are several reasons for this (just as there were with the slump), but the falling value of the Aussie dollar is clearly the most important factor – it’s now simply much cheaper to study here than it was a few years ago. Australia has also benefitted from tighter restrictions in the UK (one of the main competing markets), our earlier (and ongoing) crackdown on ‘dodgy’ colleges (giving the remaining colleges a better reputation), and improved arrangements for student visas introduced in recent years.

This increase in student numbers removes one of the big excuses from employers against improving salaries and conditions. Business is booming – and those at the coalface should start to benefit.

Kendall Warren