Off the back of some major wins, we are continuing to expand our team to ensure that the AEU provides our members with the best support possible.
For the first time in more than 30 years, we have secured a reduction in face-to-face teaching hours for teachers in public schools through the proposed Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA).
To support this reduction in hours, the state government will employ 2,000-plus extra teachers – a significant investment in Victoria’s education workforce. It’s been a hard-fought campaign to reach the draft agreement, but the results are well worth it. If approved, the new deal will be hugely positive for staff in public schools, who have been pushed to the limit by punishing workloads.
After positive wins in our benchmark early childhood agreements, the VECTEA and EEEA, we continue to leverage those results in negotiating other early childhood agreements, so we can bring the entire sector along.
We’ll also be working closely with our TAFE reps to put our members’ needs front and centre as we develop a log of claims that captures the key issues and changes members want to see in a new agreement for the sector.
We have recently employed two new TAFE organisers, who will be dedicated to working with TAFE members. They join an already strong team, including training officers, our Women’s Officer and the OHS organiser, ensuring that that we are in a strong position as we fight for greater investment in TAFE at both the federal and state election.
We are building our strength across the union, adding more on-the-ground support than ever before to advocate for members and fortify their voices in the workplace.
The upcoming federal election will also be an important battleground for our members working in the disability sector. We need assurance that the NDIS will be fully funded, so that every Australian living with a disability has the best quality support and access to opportunities.
The Morrison government has failed miserably on this front, with advocates forced to campaign against repeated attempts to undermine this important, hard-won scheme.
We are building our strength across the union, adding more on-the-ground support than ever before to advocate for members and fortify their voices in the workplace. We will be working more intensively with members and sub-branches to develop consultative structures, recruit new members, and add key skills.
We’ve set ambitious targets across all of our sectors – and hope to build on the fantastic work of all reps and members throughout 2022 by continuing our growth in membership and achieving our goals of winning workload reductions and salary increases for all members.
The introduction of seven new organiser positions across the AEU means more dedicated resources for schools, early childhood and TAFE and adult provision. The exciting news is that all the positions have been filled by current or recent AEU members who bring a raft of invaluable experience.
The leadership team is back out on the road and looking forward to visiting sub-branches, workplaces and regional meetings across the state.
As a result, our organisers’ ‘patches’ may change slightly. They will now be aligned with AEU regions, rather than local government areas. The union organiser who attends your regional meeting will now be the organiser for your region.
This means that some schools will be working with a new organiser. You’ll be hearing from them soon to arrange a time to connect either one-to-one or through workplace visits over the coming weeks. These additional resources mean that more organisers will be working with fewer schools, freeing up time for development work with reps and sub-branches that require extra support.
We will also have a full-time organiser working in EC, as well as the two full-time organisers working in TAFE. We hope to appoint two Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Officer positions this term as well, to build on the brilliant work of the First Nations Forum.
We pride ourselves on being a union that offers its members first-class support and advice on professional and industrial issues. We are planning a review of the Member Support Centre to find out how we can best help members who call us. We are also expanding our industrial workgroup to offer the best in-house legal representation.
Finally, the leadership team is back out on the road and looking forward to visiting sub-branches, workplaces and regional meetings across the state. It’s been a very tough couple of years for all members and we are excited to be joining you again in person.