Schools Raising your ES voice

  • By Briley Stokes
  • This article was published more than 1 year ago.
  • 19 Mar 2023

Education support members play a vital role in our schools and within our union. With the powerful and committed contributions of our ES members, we have successfully campaigned for many union wins, including those in the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA) 2022, providing better salaries and conditions for our membership. 

Among the improvements to working conditions across the state in the VGSA 2022, ES members have achieved:

  • a salary increase of more than 26% over the life of the VGSA 2022 at the top of Range 1, covering most ES employed by the department

  • more than 10,000 ES staff translated from insecure, short-term contract work to ongoing employment since 2017

  • revised Dimensions of Work, allowing thousands of ES to access higher classifications through range reviews

  • the provision of a free laptop for ES staff in schools.

Wins at the local level are also common. Many ES reps report success in working with their principal to translate ES staff to ongoing positions, achieve range reviews to higher classifications, and resolve pay and supervision issues.

Winning improvements in salaries and conditions like those above does not just happen. A union’s strength at the negotiation table is directly related to strength in numbers – the more ES staff who join the AEU, the more powerful our ES voice is.

ES need to join together and act together. Your voice has been getting stronger every year, with positive improvements occurring both at the state and local level – but there is more to be done. The more active and involved you and your colleagues become, the more power you have to make meaningful change.

Asking your non-member colleagues to join so that you can make an even bigger difference is empowering. When asking an ES colleague to join, talk about your own values and reasons for joining, along with the many benefits of being a member.

Find out what is important to your ES colleagues. Perhaps they are interested in women progressing into more leadership positions in the workplace. Perhaps they are likely to access parental leave at some point. Maybe they want to get more support and funding for their students.

Most of the things that ES care about will directly relate to the goals and campaigns of the AEU.

When talking to colleagues about joining, it is worth mentioning larger union wins that are memorable to you, and any significant benefits that AEU membership has offered you – whether it’s a local win like access to specific training for ES staff in your school, or a statewide win like access to laptops.

Sharing how your union experience has made a difference to your working life is powerful.

Show your colleagues how to join online at aeuvic.asn.au/join or hand them a membership form.

Build the strength of the ES voice in your workplace, and in the union more broadly, by having a conversation with your ES colleagues about joining the AEU today.

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