Safety in numbers for support staff

School support and operational staff (oh how I dislike the term ‘general employees’) have come a long way over recent years.

With each year we are gaining strength and recognition within the Union. We have our own Support Staff Advisory Committee and our own biennial conference. This year’s conference Work Well was attended by so many and one of the most relevant and finest conferences those present had ever attended.

Many support staff take advantage of other conferences, regional events, PIPs and TeachMeets run by the Union.

Our activism is on the increase, with members fighting for pay and conditions. This resulted in stop work and industrial action in 2014. Many support staff participated in rallies, with some speaking at them. We also have a number of school reps, something unheard of until recently.

This year saw the launch of Gaining Ground enews, which once a term is sent to all support and operational staff. Newsmonth constantly has updates, articles and stories relevant for school support staff. If you have something you wish to share, please contact the Newsmonth team, as they are constantly seeking interesting articles.

Our greatest numbers come from Catholic systemic schools, but our coverage of independent, early childhood, special schools, English and business colleges, CEO office and other institutions needs to grow. Please encourage our colleagues in these sectors to join. There are many employees who are not members and are missing out on the protection and benefits of belonging to a union. There is a lot to say for safety in numbers.

Just a reminder to check your membership details are up to date. Check that your payroll deduction is current and if you pay Union membership annually, that your don’t allow it to lapse. Check the date supplied from your credit card is accurate, as they do change regularly. As a Union, we can only help current members. It would be a shame to miss out on our support because of a lapse in membership.

I look forward to your continuing support in the New Year and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Carolyn Collins
Vice President Support Staff