For everyone Introducing the AEU: taking part in workplace inductions

  • 21 Apr 2024

AEU staff visited workplaces throughout February to talk to members and welcome lots of new ones entering the profession.

In the first term, AEU staff visited workplaces across Victoria, linking up with union reps and taking part in staff inductions so that all staff know about the benefits of joining their union.

AEU sub-branches hosted morning teas, barbecues and coffee vans – giving union staff a chance to check members’ contact details, refresh the AEU noticeboard, sign up new members, and urge existing ones to take up union roles within their sub-branches. These visits also gave members a chance to raise work-related issues and clarify their entitlements.

At some schools, AEU sub-branch reps ran the show, speaking directly to their colleagues about the benefits of union membership, from access to our Member Support Centre and professional learning to Union Shopper and Teachers Health. On occasion, AEU staff and union reps were also able to talk to parents about school funding and get them to sign up to our For Every Child campaign.

Early childhood organisers were out talking to members about the log of claims and upcoming negotiations for VECTEA and EEEA.

At TAFEs, AEU organisers spoke to existing and potential members about the ongoing agreement negotiations and the likely need for industrial action. In those TAFEs without elected AEU reps, they also spoke to members about establishing a union sub-branch. 

The start of a new year also means university orientation weeks and course induction days, where AEU organisers have been running stalls and speaking to pre-service teachers about why joining the union early is a great way to start your career.

An induction is the perfect opportunity to invite non-members to sign up to the AEU. Recognising a positive union culture in the workplace is a key reason why people join. Remind your colleagues that the more members in your sub-branch, the greater your chance of influencing the way your workplace operates for the benefit of everyone.

In the VGSA 2017, the AEU won the right for workplace sub-branches to take part in the induction process for all new employees in schools, and this entitlement was strengthened in the VGSA 2022. This means that AEU reps have the right to ask their principal for time to talk to new colleagues about the union.

In the TAFE sector, we have achieved the gold standard, with sub-branch representatives entitled to a time allowance under the TAFE Teachers Agreement to canvass the views of members and undertake the important duties of a workplace rep.

The AEU is advocating for similar entitlements in the next early childhood agreement. 

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