Last year the AEU joined Education International (EI), the global union for teachers and education support personnel (ESP), to mark a special day of recognition for ES on 16 May. ESP Day replaces our National Support Staff Week (NSSW), which replaced the annual Victorian ES Week. These changes over time indicate the significant increase in recognition of ES staff in the AEU and from education unions around the world.
The specific celebration in recognition of ES was created by unions to strengthen, empower and improve working conditions for support staff. By highlighting the value of ES work and its importance to the educational outcomes in our schools, we hope to build a case for improved salaries and conditions that truly reflect the value of this work.
The more ES members speak up about improved entitlements, the more ES staff will join, which will lead to even greater improvements.
ESP Day is also an opportunity to highlight the entitlements the union has won for ES, particularly over the past two agreements. The more education support staff understand and access their entitlements, the better off all ES are. When one ES is translated to ongoing, has a successful range review, or has TIL recognised, it gives another the confidence to seek improvements and to access what they are entitled to in the agreement.
The more ES members speak up about improved entitlements, the more ES staff will join, which will lead to even greater improvements. This is particularly important right now, as we prepare the log of claims for the next agreement. In 2020, we need to increase our ES union membership and grow our ES voice.
ESP Day is a Saturday this year, so to support and empower ES we will be shining a spotlight on ES entitlements in the preceding week. Keep an eye out in Term 2 for our e-bulletin, reps bulletin and social media – and remember that ESP Day is about more than a morning tea and recognition once a year; it’s about understanding ES entitlements and ensuring access to them – all year round!
We need to use ESP Day to empower, recruit and activate ES.
Our next agreement
During 2019, our ES Reference Group leaders and myself have been out and about seeking feedback from ES about how they would like Dimensions of Work improved. While accumulating this feedback, we heard many great ideas for other potential improvements in the next agreement.
Make sure you put each and every idea – or potential claim – to your local school sub-branch for inclusion in the AEU’s log of claims. To find out more about how the log of claims process works, visit aeuvic.asn.au/help-advice/vgsa or speak to your AEU rep or organiser today.
To learn more about what other ES are seeking to improve in the next agreement and to share your ideas, contact me at [email protected] and I will put you in touch with our ES Reference Groups.