Up to date Reps serve members well

Teachers are busy keeping up with curriculum and don’t always put themselves first, so it’s good experts from the Union can do that work on our behalf.

Chris Boylan

Getting their heads around the new Catholic systemic enterprise agreement has been the catalyst for a number of Reps to update their knowledge at Union training sessions.

Margaret Adams of All Saints Primary School Liverpool has been the IEU Rep since she started at the school 20 years ago.

She went to the recent Reps training to update her knowledge on the agreement.

“It’s such a big thing I just want to make sure I know how it works,” Margaret said.

“There have been a lot of questions around it. The training has been very useful because I can go back armed with information to share with my colleagues.”

Adrian Di Qual

Union recruitment isn’t a big issue at Margaret’s school, which has always enjoyed 100% membership, even among support staff.

However, for Adrian Di Qual at Champagnat Catholic College (formerly Marist College Pagewood) having a “point of contact” at the school who is up to date on legal rights and responsibilities is “fundamental”.

“Outside of the principal who else is there to go to? If you have a problem with your principal, you need a Rep to talk to about things. There’s no one else."

Adrian is a new Rep. He has been teaching biology and junior science at his current school for three years but previously he moved around a lot while undertaking a Masters in Biology.

Margaret Adams

He plans to set up a meeting for school support staff as soon as he can now that he has learnt more from his training.

“I want to make sure they’re clear on their rights and find out if there is anything I can do to help them,” Adrian said.

Christ the King Primary Bass Hill teacher Mary Williams has been Rep at the school for as long as she has taught there – about 14 years.

She too wanted to get updated on the new agreement so she could answer any questions staff fired at her.

“If it wasn’t for Union training we would only know what the employers tell us about the agreement and that would be as they wanted us to perceive it.

Mary Williams

“Teachers are very busy keeping up with curriculum and don’t always put themselves first, so it’s good experts from the Union can do that work on our behalf, and I can take that back with me.”

“Having this good knowledge helps me get member involved with the Union, and I like coming to training and meeting people from others schools and the Union and finding out how they approach things.”

Visual Arts teacher Chris Boylan in “on again off again” Rep at St Paul’s College Manly.

While he’s not the Rep at the moment, the current Rep was marking HSC papers when the training was on, so Chris came in his place.

“I’m always involved in some way. We have an unofficial Union committee and we all support each other with the work.”

“I hope I’ve got enough highlighted bits in my book [the enterprise agreement] that I can bring back to my colleagues to share,” Chris said.

Sue Osborne