TAFE & Adult Provision Membership growth in disability sector makes us stronger

The disability sector has been through a lot in the past few years. Changes in response to the NDIS and to industrial relations legislation have had a big impact on the sector. 

As a result, workers have experienced disruption, OHS issues, unexpected shifts in employment structures and, in some cases, diminishing pay and conditions. 

For many, these changes have been the last straw, resulting in workers walking away from the profession – but for others, this has led to some powerful and positive experiences of collectivism and activism.

We know that unions set industry standards for wages, but also for conditions. High union membership benefits all industry workers.

AEU membership among disability instructors has increased by over 10% in the last month, as these members have begun to work together and stand up against diminishing rights.

This recent uptick in activism has resulted in far more organised and powerful workplaces with improved conditions.

At one disability centre, the AEU rep has signed up almost all her colleagues, who are now working collectively and effectively. In another, members banded together to successfully address underpayment issues.

A median disability member worker in adult education earns between $9 and $11 more an hour than a median non-member disability educator. This is not insignificant – and the trickle-down effect is meaningful in people’s lives.

We know that unions set industry standards for wages, but also for conditions. High union membership benefits all industry workers.

By coming together and organising, we can achieve great things – so ask a non-member colleague to join today.

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