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About the Independent Education Union of Australia

The Independent Education Union of Australia (IEUA) is the federal union representing the industrial and professional rights of principals, teachers and other education staff (including principals, teacher-librarians and librarians, advisers and assistants, and clerical and administrative support staff) working in non government schools and colleges, early childhood centres, and other non government educational institutions in accord with its rules  

The IEU has a long and rich history. It is the history of teachers working and acting together to ensure that their contribution to the provision of high quality education for their students is understood and valued by the community. The organisation of trade unions in private schools in a number of states dates back to the early years of the 20th century.

The history of the federal union is strongly linked to the history of its state and territory associated bodies and branches, the earliest of which date back to the beginning of the 20th century.

 In the early 1970s, these teacher organisations as well as non government teaching unions in WA, the ACT, the NT and the Tasmanian Independent sector formed a national peak organisation, the Independent Teachers Federation of Australia (ITFA). This was not a registered industrial organisation but an unregistered federation of state based non government teacher unions. ITFA's purpose was to give a national voice to teachers employed in non government schools, particularly in response to a number of national agendas being advanced by the federal government at the time - the most important one being the funding of non government schools.

Over the next decade, unions representing Catholic teachers and support staff in Victoria and Tasmania joined ITFA.  It is also during this time that the non government teacher unions in the other jurisdictions sought coverage of support staff in non government education institutions on the basis that the work of teachers and support staff are inextricably linked to the delivery of high quality education for students.  The Independent Education Union is an industry union.

In 1985, the ITFA affiliated to the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) and attended its first ACTU Congress in the same year in Sydney.

As the work of the ITFA continued it became increasingly obvious that if the role of the affiliated bodies as bona fide employee representatives at the national and State levels was to be protected, federal registration would be an imperative.

Towards the end of 1983 the ITF was set up and early in 1984 application was made to the Australian Conciliation and Arbitration Commission for registration as a federal union.  Its application sought rules for coverage of the broadest range of education workers in non government education institutions.  After extensive litigation federal registration was achieved on 8th October 1988.

The IEUA continues to campaign actively on behalf of the more than 75,000 professionals in the non-government education sector it represents.

Visit the IEUA website for more information. 



Authorised by Terry Burke, Independent Education Union of Australia – Queensland & Northern Territory Branch, Brisbane.