As we get into the swing of 2023, it’s worth reflecting upon our achievements over the past year. CRTs have achieved a lot, but there are plenty of potential wins to keep striving for.
The greatest highlight was having the newly appointed minister for education, the Hon. Natalie Hutchins, attend an AEU meeting where she was briefed by CRT members on their key issues – fair funding, workload, direct versus agency employment, sick leave and long service leave, and the VIT registration process for CRTs.
Reflecting on these issues and the positive response from the minister puts us in a great position to continue your activism and campaigning around CRT issues in 2023.
Some other highlights last year saw CRTs acting in solidarity in both the federal and state election campaigns. Members participated in doorknocking, letterbox drops, and handing out ‘how to vote’ cards at polling booths, all to promote public education as a key election issue.
The CRT Association met regularly online, and the final meeting included a presentation from Meaghan Flack, the union’s OHS Organiser. Numbers at this meeting swelled and special guests will continue to be a feature of our work.
So, where to begin in 2023? With luck, the long-awaited CRT handbook will be published and distributed to schools. This will outline the expectations and duties of CRTs, making it easier to ensure that these hard-fought improvements to workplace conditions are met.
Planning and training to support CRTs and school sub-branches to ensure these baseline conditions has been our immediate priority this year.
In other CRT news, there has been some administrative shuffling in 2023. I’d like to bid a fond farewell to Georgia Charleston and recognise the efforts she put into supporting and campaigning for CRT members. She is now organising a larger schools patch, and we wish her well. To fill the gap in CRT organising, I’d like to welcome Bec Muratore, who is already proving to be a wonderful addition to the AEU CRT community.
Lastly, a quick plug for our online ‘CRT staffroom’ – the AEU Victoria CRT Association Facebook page: facebook.com/groups/AEU.CRTs. If you haven’t yet joined this group, it is a great place to hear about union activities, share resources, and ask fellow CRT unionists for advice and help.