Reflections on a big year

What a year we have had! For all members teaching in Catholic systemic schools, great news with the conclusion of the long battle to reach an agreement. There are also several agreements still to be settled, but we are sure that these will also be finalised in the coming months.

Also great news for the members in the Wilcannia-Forbes Diocese now that their long service leave has been sorted – a good outcome for all. A big thank you to all members who campaigned in such a focused way with Marilyn Jervis to reach this outcome. It just shows what can be achieved when everyone works together to improve working conditions.

As we reflect on the year, there have been some outstanding events that members have had the opportunity to enjoy. The various Women in Education forums held throughout the regions have offered impressive speakers, good discussions and a wonderful time to network and discuss issues affecting women in the workplace.

The conferences that have been held, Securing Our Future, the Early Childhood Conference, the Support Staff Conference and the Biennial Environment Conference were great events. The evaluations for these were outstanding and showed the need for this professional development for our members.

The PIP program and TeachMeets were well attended and will continue next year. These are just a few of the many benefits available to members. PD registered with BOSTES is an added bonus.

I wish to thank all of the Chapter Reps who do a tremendous job in their schools to keep members up to date with news from the Union. It may sometimes seem a thankless job, but it’s much appreciated by members and the IEU alike.

For those who regularly attend Branch meetings and for members of Branch Executives – thank you for your time and effort. To Council delegates who give up their weekends four times a year – a big commitment, but a very rewarding experience – thank you. To you the members – thank you for your continuing support and interest in the IEU.

To the members of the Executive, thank you for your friendship, support and dedication throughout the year. You are an exceptional group of people.

To the officers, clerical staff, publications and communications department and all associated with the workings of the IEU – thank you too. It is the collective work of everyone that makes this Union the success that it is.

To our members who are heading off for a year of adventure to exotic destinations as part of the teacher exchange program, have a ball. Enjoy your new school, chances of travel and new friendships. We look forward to hearing about your time and travels. Stay safe.

Best wishes

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a well deserved holiday. Rest and enjoy family and friends and if you are heading overseas, travel safely and enjoy your time. I look forward to working with you all again next year and thank you all for your support throughout 2015.

Chris Wilkinson