Many AEU members and friends have been affected by the bushfires in Victoria. It’s been a sad way to start the year, especially for the community at Clifton Creek who have lost their primary school.
We encourage members to contact us if you have lost homes or personal property due to the bushfires.
The AEU Victorian Branch has a welfare and disaster fund and members may be eligible for up to $5,000 in the circumstance where a home is lost or up to $500 for the loss of personal property where a school or workplace is lost due to bushfires. You can email our Branch Secretary Erin Aulich directly.
We’ve also heard from many members who want to know how they can help school communities who have been affected by the bushfires.
Trades Hall are distributing advice on mental health and financial support available that we will make available shortly.
The Victorian government has asked that people cease donating goods (including stationery) as the affected communities are having difficulty storing, sorting and distributing them. If members would like to contribute to school supplies, stationery and textbooks for students, we recommend donating to State Schools’ Relief.
Our current advice is that the fires will continue for months. Two national parks have already been completely lost.
We are aware that first responders and those involved in recovery effort remain at risk. The relevant unions are working very closely to support members in these efforts. Trades Hall has reported that 800 people responded to the ACTU’s callout for volunteers. A donation fund will soon be available to allow unions and their members to contribute to relief efforts for those affected by the fires.
Trades Hall has also developed an air quality safety standard for unions, which will provide guidance for employers and employees in relation to outdoor work using the EPA measure of air quality. DET has released new advice for those caring for children under 14 in areas affected by smoke, as they are much more susceptible to adverse effects.
The AEU will be liaising directly with affected schools and their communities to see how we can best offer support as Term 1 begins.